PORTAGE | The city's Redevelopment Commission recently approved moving forward with the third phase of its Central Avenue Business District redevelopment plan.
The commission approved acquiring easements in the Portage Mall area.
John Shepherd, economic development adviser, said construction should begin next year on $2.5 million in improvements in the area.
The improvements will include extending Vivian Street north through the mall area, construction of a west alley way, parking lot improvements from Rosewood Restaurant to the north, construction of a parking lot on the northeast side of the mall and landscaping, lighting and streetscaping throughout the area.
The city has been redeveloping the area between the Portage Mall and Hamstrom Road for several years. Those improvements, so far, have included building infrastructure in and around Founder's Square Park and demolishing the eastern half of the Portage Mall as well as making access improvements into the mall area.
The Redevelopment Commission owns much of the property in the area. The idea is to provide infrastructure to attract development in the downtown area, between Central Avenue and the Indiana Toll Road.