Winfield focuses on quality residential growth

2013-02-24T00:00:00Z Winfield focuses on quality residential growthBy Susan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
February 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

WINFIELD | A town known for its rapid residential growth expects the trend to continue.

"Residential — that's what we're known for," Clerk-Treasurer Rick Anderson said. "And we continue to see that growth."

Winfield incorporated in 1993 to become one of the area's newest towns, with a population of 645.

A building booming boom in the last decade added hundreds of new homes in dozens of new subdivisions within town borders.

Population more than tripled by 2000, to 2,298. By 2010, the number had nearly doubled again, to 4,383, according to U.S. Census figures.

The town grew in size as well, annexing 258 surrounding acres in 2010 to expand on its original 12 square miles.

Officials have proposed creating the town's first tax increment financing district centered along commercial corridors of East 109th Avenue and Randolph Street, where tax revenue could be used to improve infrastructure and help attract new business.

A new highway interchange opened in 2010 off of Interstate 65 at 109th Avenue, to provide a new gateway to the town. 

Since then, "we have seen a tremendous increase in traffic on 109th (Avenue)," Anderson said. A traffic count to gauge the increase is planned, Anderson said.

All the added traffic could spur business development along 109th Avenue, Anderson said.

New housing, which leveled off in 2009 and 2010 after the earlier boom, has shown signs of resurgence.

The town issued 81 building permits for new single-family residences last year, nearly consistent with the 91 granted a year earlier, and up significantly from the 59  issued in 2010, Anderson said.

The town will continue to place faith in its ability to attract homeowners to what officials see as a  combination of rural charm, a growing commercial district and easy access to a major interstate highway.

"I would say that we focus on having quality residential growth," Anderson said.

"We also want to try to improve on options we have in terms of restaurants and shopping.

"We don't want to be a metropolis," Anderson said. But with town residents traveling to nearby communities to shop and dine, "We're trying to figure out a way to keep some of that here in town."

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