HOBART — New development could be coming to 69th Avenue, but the road is in need of an upgrade before that could happen.
Becknell Industrial is looking to buy a 16.5-acre property north of 69th Avenue and east of Mississippi Street, and the company also owns a adjacent parcel that's about 35 acres.
Paul Thurston, of Becknell, said there isn't yet a plan for the lots, but Becknell has had success with industrial sites.
Becknell, the developer of the NorthWind Crossings business park, is asking the city to change the zoning classification of 16.5-acre property from residential to a planned unit development.
Becknell's request was sent to the City Council with a favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission. The council could act on the zone change soon.
Although supportive of the rezone, Councilman Dave Vinzant indicated 69th Avenue in its current state isn't suitable to handle traffic that would come with new industrial developments.
“69th just doesn't do it,” said Vinzant, a Plan Commission member.
He said the municipality is planning for work to enlarge and improve the road so it could accommodate future development.
City Engineer Phil Gralik said it could be at least a year before bid letting for such a project could take place.
He questioned if the timing is appropriate to rezone the 16.5-acre property because the road isn't yet suitable to handle traffic new developments could bring.
Vinzant said the properties Becknell plans to develop are near a residential community. Before that neighborhood was established, the city made it clear industrial projects could come to that area, Vinzant said.
When development occurs, proper buffering would be needed between the facilities and the residential community. That could include a berm and screening.