VALPARAISO | Plans for a 14-lot shovel-ready industrial development site were presented Tuesday to the city's Plan Commission.
The 38.5-acre property was bought earlier this year by the city's Redevelopment Commission and is being developed by Chester Inc. Steve DeBold, of Chester, told the commission the plan is to extend sewer and water service to the property, put in roads and provide drainage.
A tree line that separates the property from the Washington Highlands subdivision will be expanded with more trees and landscaping as a buffer. The preliminary design being considered by the commission will have lots ranging in size from 1.25 to about 5 acres, but they can be combined if needed for a larger project, DeBold said.
The drainage will include a swale around the perimeter of the property. The swale will channel water into a detention pond, which will empty into a county-regulated drain. City Engineering Director Tim Burkman said the city got permission Tuesday from the county Drainage Board to use the drainage ditch.
Stuart Summers, executive director of the Redevelopment Commission, said the proposal is an important part of the city's economic development plan.
Also supporting the plan was East Porter County School Board member Bob Martin, who said he has farmed the property for 40 years.
"It's the best thing that could happen for this property," Martin said, adding that it will spare the wear and tear on his equipment from all the rocks.
DeBold said the property, to be called Airport Business and Industrial Park, will be developed similar to Eastport Centre Industrial Park immediately to the west.
The Plan Commission will vote on its recommendation for the plan at its December meeting.
The commission also voted to approve the proposed additions of the Pratt Industries and Lakes of Valparaiso East properties to its tax increment financing districts after they are annexed. Commission members Vic Ritter and Jim Mooney were absent.
The Pratt annexation already has been approved as part of a $260 million development plan for a paper recycling plant next to the Pratt plant on Ind. 49 south of the Porter County Jail. About 33 acres are being annexed.
The Lakes of Valparaiso East, proposed by Don Weiss, is a proposal for luxury apartments and a business park between Evans Avenue and Vale Park Road, east of Ind. 49. It is being proposed as a planned unit development. The details are still being finalized before being presented to the Plan Commission, probably in December.