VALPARAISO | With development beginning on the east side of Ind. 49, the city is considering hiring a consultant to develop an overall plan for the corridor between U.S. 30 and U.S. 6.
Stuart Summers, executive director of the city's Redevelopment Commission, said at Wednesday's commission meeting the construction of the St. Mary Medical Center clinic at Ind. 49 and Burlington Beach Road and the proposed development of luxury apartments and a business park at Ind. 49 and Evans Avenue prompted officials to seek consultant proposals.
The city asked American Structurepoint, which designed the city's roundabouts, and Kendig Kiest Collaborative, which is updating the city's comprehensive plan and did a study of the U.S. 30 corridor, to bid on preparing a plan for a three-quarter-mile wide corridor on the east side of Ind. 49.
"It has not really been planned out," Summers said. "Part of it is in the city and part of it is not. Part of it is in an economic development area. We've got a study for the area around the airport to the south, but we don't have a comprehensive zoning plan for this corridor."
Instead of submitting competing proposals, the consultants joined and submitted a joint proposal that was presented to the commission Wednesday. A subcommittee was named to look it over and interview the consultants before presenting a recommendation to the full commission in January.
Summers said he had estimated the study would cost about $120,000. The consultants have presented a menu of choices totaling about $136,000, if the city decides to go with everything. Summers said he expects it will be closer to $120,000.
In addition to deciding what would be the best uses for the land, the study would look at where the roads should go and how to supply the area with sewer and water services. The study would take six to nine months to complete, Summers said.
"Instead of responding to projects from developers, we ought to have an overall plan in place that we can present to them that will enable us to leverage the limited public resources we have with the private sector," he said.