MERRILLVILLE — Plans for two proposed apartment complexes are advancing following support from the Plan Commission.
It granted conceptual planned unit development (PUD) approval for separate projects at 93rd Avenue and Taft Street as well as 9047 Connecticut St.
Town Councilwoman Marge Uzelac, the commission’s president, said the PUD process involves additional action from the Plan Commission. That group could continue reviewing the matters in the August.
If the PUD proposals are finalized, Weiss Entities will build 320 units on its property at 93rd Avenue and Taft Street, and Edward Rose Properties will create a 270-unit complex at 9047 Connecticut St.
The Weiss Entities project includes 240 rental units that will be built in four-story buildings, and the other 80 units will be in townhouse-style buildings.
“This is a premier project,” Attorney Richard Anderson said of the proposed development.
Anderson said the first phase of the project involves razing the Merrill Point Shopping Center this year to make way for the new rental units. Construction of the complex is expected to start in 2022.
The Dollar General, Goodwill and dialysis center properties near Merrill Point aren’t owned by Weiss, and they won’t be demolished. Anderson said the existing Wise Guys Discount Liquors in Merrill Point could be relocated.
He said Merrill Point has largely been vacant for years, and the apartment project “can revitalize an area that’s kind of struggling.”
The Edward Rose development will include one-, two- and three-bedroom units that will be available in a dozen apartment buildings.
Attorney Greg Bouwer said the project also calls for a fitness room, clubhouse, pool, fire pits and other amenities.
As with other new developments, drainage will play a major role in the project.
Town officials said residents in the nearby Broadfield neighborhood have long had concerns about flooding in their community, and they want to ensure they won’t experience water issues if the apartments are built.
Bouwer said a drainage pond will be expanded so it can accommodate stormwater from the apartment complex.
He also project officials have already started meeting with Broadfield residents so they are aware of the development and the drainage work planned there.