PORTAGE — The $40 million Promenade at Founders Square development in the city's newly created downtown has landed its first restaurant.

Holladay Properties vice president of development and leasing Michael O'Connor said the company has signed a lease to locate Big Time Burger and Brew in building 3 of the development north of Central Avenue and west of Hamstrom Road. The restaurant will lease 3,506 square feet of the building. 

"This new restaurant concept is brought to you by the experienced restaurateurs who brought you Gastro 49 Pub & Eatery in Chesterton. Big Time Burgers & Brew will offer a selection of local craft beers paired with a variety of gourmet burgers, sandwiches and salads," said O'Connor, adding the target opening date for the restaurant is Oct. 1.

Owners of the restaurant could not be reached for comment.

They are the second commercial entity to commit to locating to the development. The Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce has leased 1,700 square feet in building 4.

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"We are very close on several others," said O'Connor, adding the others include professional office and retail space. "We will have most, if not all, of the commercial space leased by the end of this year."

In addition to the commercial development, tenants are expected to move into residential building 1 on June 1, said Kyle Yates, the development's property manager, adding all but one of the units in the first building's 30 units have been reserved.

Yates said 81 units of the 200 units which will be available in the five buildings now under construction have been reserved with tenants placing deposits on the studio to three-bedroom apartments.

O'Connor said after the completion of the first building, which is on the western side of the first phase of the development, the other four buildings will follow in succession with all five buildings completed and ready for occupancy by Oct. 15. Once the first phase is completed, work will begin later this year on the four-building second phase of the project. The second phase will also include a community swimming pool and club house. When completed, the development will include about 300 apartments.

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Porter County Reporter

Joyce has been a reporter for nearly 40 years, including 23 years with The Times. She's a native of Merrillville, but has lived in Portage for 39 years. She covers municipal and school government in Porter County.