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Hobart City Hall

HOBART — An industrial developer hopes to buy a 16.5 parcel to expand operations in the city.

To that end, city officials are pursuing a development agreement with Becknell Industrial before they authorize a zone change for property the company could purchase.

Becknell has plans to buy a 16.5-acre parcel near 69th Avenue and Mississippi Street. Becknell, the developer of the NorthWind Crossings business park, is asking the city to rezone the site from residential to an industrial planned unit development.

That request received a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission last year and initial support from the City Council, but municipal officials want a development agreement in place before final approval is given to the zone change.

City Attorney Anthony DeBonis said Becknell already owns a 35-acre property adjacent to the 16.5-acre piece of land it wants to acquire.

Plans for the properties haven’t been announced, but Becknell has had success with industrial sites.

A large project to rebuild 69th Avenue is needed to support traffic that would come with the development of the land.

DeBonis said negotiations have started for a development agreement that makes multiple requests of Becknell.

He said the city is asking the company to convey right of way necessary to widen and straighten 69th Avenue.

“I don’t think that is going to be a major issue,” DeBonis said.

Hobart is also requesting Becknell make a financial contribution to the 69th Avenue road improvements.

The development agreement asks the company to establish covenants with restrictions and guidelines for the development that will take place on the two properties. DeBonis said Hobart wants to ensure structures created there are aesthetically pleasing to the surrounding area.

After a development agreement is in place, the zone change request will go before the Plan Commission again and then head to the City Council for a final ruling.

The goal is to have a determination made by March 10, DeBonis said.

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