VALPARAISO | After a little last-minute haggling over price, Valparaiso's Redevelopment Commission voted Thursday to hire a consulting team to develop a corridor plan for Ind. 49.
"The city has spent a lot of time on its master plan for the rest of the community and on the other corridors, and the time is right now to make sure the principles and goals developed for those are continued on the Ind. 49 corridor," Christopher Hamm, project manager for American Structurepoint, told the commission.
American Structurepoint was hired to work with Kendig Keast Collaborative on the study, which will look mostly at the east side of the road all the way north to U.S. 6.
Total cost of the contract is $113,200, of which the Valparaiso Economic Development Corporation is contributing $50,000. The city's Utilities Board will be asked to contribute $20,000 at its next meeting.
Hamm said the study will take about six months to complete, and an additional two months are set aside to shepherd the recommendations through the approval process before the plan commission and the council.
Bret Keast said his company did work on the corridor during its development of the city's comprehensive plan, but this will bring that overview approach down to the ground to deal with the specifics, including the types of land use, the roads, utilities and infrastructure needed to best serve it, and the landscaping and streetscape standards.
The plan also will deal with annexation and how to best implement the plan, with the realization that some areas won't develop for some time.
"This is a one-time opportunity to realize a deliberate future for the corridor," Keast said. "We will be looking at managing the growth now and in the future."
The consultants will meet with a number of stakeholders, including county officials under whose jurisdiction the northern half of the corridor lies. The public also will be given a chance to comment on the alternatives being considered before the final plan is drafted for submission to the city.
Christopher Murphy, principal-in-charge with American Structurepoint, said about 90 hours of work was trimmed from the proposal at the city's request to cut costs.
Councilman John Bowker said the consultants will work with developer Don Weiss, whose plans for a 400-unit luxury apartment complex and business park on Evans Avenue and Ind. 49 was one of the inspirations for the study, along with hospital development at Burlington Beach Road.