CROWN POINT — Plans for a modern business park in the southeast corner of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231 are moving forward.
The park would sit on 250 acres of land south of 129th Avenue and North of 137th Avenue between I-65 and Iowa Street. That land had been zoned R-1 Residential. After an ordinance rezoning the land to BP-1 Business Park received a unanimous favorable recommendation from the Plan Commission, the City Council voted to approve the rezoning during its Monday night meeting.
Jeff Ban, principal with the engineering firm DVG Team, representing Mississippi Parkway Partners, presented the project at a September Plan Commission meeting. Ban said the proposed business park could include large industrial buildings similar to the 200,000- to 400,000-square-foot concrete buildings that can be seen in the AmeriPlex at the Crossroads business park in Merrillville.
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The business park would align with Crown Point's comprehensive plan, Ban said.
"We believe that given this area, and its proximity to the interchange of I-65 and 231, its proximity to the Franciscan Alliance new corporate campus of the new hospital, and its accessibility to the interchange, we believe this is a perfect location," Ban said.
The proposed park will also bring jobs with higher paying wages to Crown Point, Ban said during an Oct. 11 Plan Commission meeting.
"The planning commission felt the zoning change was consistent with the uses in the area," Crown Point Planning Administrator Anthony Schlueter said Monday.
The council approved the rezone on second reading with a vote of 6-0. Councilman Laura Sauerman was absent.
The council also heard the first reading of an ordinance annexing 11.64 acres of land. Sitting at 13121 Delaware St., the 11.64 acres would complete the southern portion of a proposed 57-acre subdivision known as The Willows. Schlueter said the ordinance received a 2-1 favorable recommendation from the annexation committee.
Schlueter also noted that The Willows has gone before the Plan Commission twice before as a workshop, to hear feedback on the development.
The council had the first reading of two other annexations, phase one and two of a development owned by Smith Farm. The first phase would include around 21 acres located at 3905 W. 133rd Ave., with the second phase adding 123.32 acres southeast of phase one.
Ryan Fleming, the representative for Smith Farm, said the development would include 40-52 single family estate-style lots with custom built homes, with an estimated value of $900,000 per unit.
Fleming said the area is heavily wooded and that the developers will work to preserve as many trees as possible. About 80 of the 144 acres are developable, with the remaining land largely comprised of wetlands, Fleming said.
If approved, Smith Farms will work with Gary Weaver of Weaver Sherman Design to plan the project. Weaver will help Smith Farms locate the roads in a way that would "minimize the impact on the trees," Fleming said.
"The site is beautiful ground, but with that comes a lot of obstacles and the fact is there are significant topographical changes from one side to the other," Fleming said.