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The current three-way intersection at the west exit of Interstate 65 at U.S. 231 would become a four-way intersection as part of development of The Fountains of Crown Point.

When a proposed project would satiate the chief community goals of enhancing municipal revenue, increasing residents' quality of life and creating jobs, people naturally become curious.

When that same project is expected to transform a long-empty series of fields into a potential cornerstone of Region commerce, our entire Region should be cheering.

Such appears to be the case for a proposal to turn empty fields at the major Region interchange of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231 in Crown Point into a commercial retail center.

It represents a $150 million to $250 million investment in the type of growth, relevancy and quality of life so important to our Region’s future fortunes.

The development plan, announced recently by the city and developers, would occupy 109 acres at the northwest corner of the interchange with two hotels, a bowling alley, a theater, fast causal and full-service restaurants, a specialty grocery store, residential townhomes and a fire station.

Anchoring the development would be an outlet mall of 80 to 100 stores.

While the proposal is in its early stages, it's hard not to share in the excitement of developers and city leaders for the prospects of what this plan could mean to the Hub City and our entire Region.

For years, the interchange has been discussed as an area of great growth potential for Crown Point and the I-65 corridor.

Nearby facilities, including from the Franciscan medical group and University of St. Francis, have taken shape there.

But much of the area has been zoned industrial for many years, never achieving desired development.

We wish developers and city leaders well in this new endeavor.

Change for the better starts with big dreams and even bigger planning. This project appears to be on the right track.


Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Local News Editor Marc Chase, Lake County Editor Crista Zivanovic, Porter/LaPorte County Editor Doug Ross and Deputy Local Editor Erin Orr.