Municipal officials in Merrillville and Hobart are staying busy with many projects designed to bring growth to the communities.
In Merrillville, Midwest Truck & Auto Parts recently announced it will be locating in the AmeriPlex at the Crossroads business park south of 93rd Avenue.
Crow Holdings Industrial is developing a 279,000-square-foot facility in AmeriPlex, and Midwest Truck “will occupy approximately 45% of the building,” Merrillville Town Manager Patrick Reardon said.
The supplier of aftermarket performance parts for cars and trucks plans to open in Merrillville next year, adding up to 150 new jobs by 2024, according to the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
“This is a longstanding, third-generation owned and operated company that has made a decision to expand in Indiana, particularly Merrillville,” Reardon said.
He said a project labor agreement is in place with the Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council, and there will be about 200 construction jobs associated with the development.
Reardon said construction is expected to start this year, and it will take about 12 months to finish.
In addition to the commercial and industrial projects in Merrillville, there are plans for residential construction.
Single-family homes will be built on 58 lots in the Savannah Ridge neighborhood south of 73rd Avenue.
Developer Wayne Welter recently received approval from the Plan Commission for the project, and he would like to break ground by the end of the year.
In addition to bringing new homes to Merrillville, the project will extend Grant Street so it will run from 73rd Avenue to U.S. Hwy. 30.
Planning also continues for the final phase of the Mississippi Street reconstruction and widening project. Bid letting is expected in November, Merrillville Engineering Administrator Steven King said.
Mississippi Street will be widened to four lanes between 93rd and 101st Avenues with the installation of new storm sewers and other drainage work. King anticipates the work will get started in the spring of 2021 and hopes i can be completer next year as well.
Things are hopping in Hobart, too.
“There’s lots of excitement right now in the city,” Mayor Brian Snedecor said regarding what's planned there.
Among the companies that continue to grow is the Albanese Confectionery Group.
Albanese is planning to create a new 12,480-square-foot employee center at 5441 E. Lincoln Hwy.
The three-story structure will include employee lockers, a human resources office, cafeteria and break rooms. A construction schedule hasn’t been announced.
Though the new center won't create additional permanent jobs, future expansion could add employment opportunities, according to Albanese.
Hobart also is taking steps to increase its housing stock.
Work continues at the Eagle Creek Crossing development along 61st Avenue for which single-family homes are planned on 48 lots.
The Cressmoor Estates development also is advancing. That 113-acre project is scheduled to have more than 200 lots south of 37th Avenue and west of Lake Park Avenue. It will include single- and multifamily homes and a commercial area.
Hobart officials are planning to seek proposals from developers to transform about 60 acres of city-owned land near 61st Avenue and Arizona Street into a residential community, said Beth Jacobson, Hobart's assistant director of development. No timetable has been set.
Hobart has been completing many infrastructure improvements, including the Third Street bridge replacement.
The new bridge, which recently opened to traffic, will provide many benefits to the community, officials said. City Engineer Phil Gralik said it will improve the flow of water and reduce flood elevations.
Brick and limestone were incorporated to give the bridge features consistent with the city's downtown area. Bob Fulton, president of Hobart's Sanitary/Stormwater District Board, has described the new structure as “the most beautiful bridge in Lake County.”
The new bridge was constructed with 8-feet of clearance to allow watercraft to travel beneath it. That has opened access to areas of Lake George that some craft previously couldn't be reached.
The city also is completing a stormwater management and beautification project near Center, Front and Main Streets downtown. Those streets are closed, though Gralik expects they could reopen around the middle of November.
Several other streets, including Colorado Street, Sixth Street, Eighth Street, Woodland Court, Softwood Drive, Lake Park Avenue and 34th Place, have been enhanced this year.