SCHERERVILLE — An old used car lot will be brought back to life again.
The Schererville Town Council recently approved the variance of use to allow for a new used car lot sales center to be built at 1306 Lincoln Highway.
The 5-0 vote came after a favorable recommendation with conditions from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Town Manager Robert Volkmann said the property was a used car lot at one time within the last decade, but it had been closed and abandoned.
“It is in pretty bad shape. Hasn’t been maintained well at all,” Volkmann said. “The petitioner is looking to spruce up the property.”
Petitioner Nidal Taha told the council he saw a lot of potential for the lot, which will be Motorex Auto Sale.
“I am trying to simply bring this place to life again,” Taha said. “A lot of work is needed, but I will do my best.”
As outlined in the conditions, Taha said he plans to renovate and reroof the existing building inside and out, landscape to meet the U.S. 30 corridor district requirements, remove existing solar panels and trash from the site, repave the lots and update the existing signage and light fixtures on the property.
Councilman Michael Troxell said he agreed the property is “unsightly,” but questioned the future use of the lot.
“There are a lot of used car lots already,” Troxell said. “I don’t know if that is what our community needs.”
Taha told the council this sales center would be different, adding he has been in the business for 17 years with business locations in Illinois and Indiana.
“It is not going to be a cheap car lot. It’s going to be nice,” Taha said. "I am very specific, selective of the cars I deal with. The mileage, conditions, options have to be within my own standards. Nothing lower within the lot."
He said he looks for cars that cost $6,000 to $16,000.
Troxell said since the location was formerly home to a used car lot sales center, the town would not technically be adding any more.
As part of the town's conditions, hours of operation for Motorex Auto Sale would be from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The project and petitioner will now go before the Plan Commission for final approval of the one-lot subdivision.
In other business, the Town Council approved a five-year contract agreement with Lake Central School Corp. for employment of a school resource officer.
The council also declared April 14-20 as National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.