MERRILLVILLE — Many are enthusiastic about a mixed-use development proposed for U.S. 30.
Developer Al Krygier has plans to raze the existing Catch 22 restaurant and build a new eight-unit facility at the site on U.S. 30 near Broadway, but the restaurant won't be leaving town.
Ryan Marovich, a representative for the project, said Catch 22 will occupy one of the new units. Marovich, of DVG, wasn't aware of any other tenants secured for the building at a recent Plan Commission meeting, but the 30,000-square-foot facility is expected to include retail and office uses in addition to the restaurant.
Town Councilman Shawn Pettit, a commission member, hinted the development could bring a prominent business to Merrillville, but he declined to name the possible tenant due to confidentiality.
“I am extremely excited about this project,” Pettit said.
He said he is confident Krygier will create a high-quality facility in the town.
Catch 22 owner Jason Evans said the project has been in the works for about a year, and he also is thrilled to see it come to fruition. Evans views it as a great opportunity for the restaurant and the town.
He said the current facility he rents was built in the 1990s, and he described it as a “tired” building. His business can run more efficiently in the space he will occupy in the new facility.
Marovich said construction could start in the spring. Evans said the construction schedule hasn't yet been finalized, but it's possible the restaurant could be closed for about three months while the new facility is constructed.
“We want it to open as quick as we can,” Evans said.
Before work for the new multi-unit facility begins, the commission will need to approve multiple requests sought for the project.
Krygier is asking the panel to grant a planned unit development petition. He also is seeking approval to combine the Catch 22 lot with a smaller parcel he owns adjacent to the site.
The commission is expected to consider granting preliminary approval of both requests at its Jan. 17 meeting.
Krygier didn't attend the meeting where the project was discussed, but he is expected to be at the Jan. 17 meeting. It's possible additional details about potential tenants for the building could be discussed then.
Councilwoman Chrissy Barron, the commission's president, said the new building will improve the appearance of U.S. 30 in that area of town.
“It looks like it's going to be a beautiful facility,” commission member Brian Dering said.
With the excitement about the project, the panel had inquiries about drainage for the site.
Marovich said a nearby pond will be sufficient to handle stormwater runoff.
“Water is not going to be a problem,” Pettit said.