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Crown Point Condos

PostPosted: Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:43 am
by Big Dog
Condos considered for Crown Point

CROWN POINT | Sheriff Holley probably never saw this one coming.

A local developer shared his vision with the Plan Commission on Monday for property on the south side of downtown, neighboring the Old Sheriff's House and jail, which could include 50 high-end condominiums, retail shops and two levels of private parking.

Currently, the half-acre property on Walnut Street between Main and East streets holds Ron and Son's Auto Repair, and what was once a dry cleaners and Laundromat and, more recently, a tattoo shop. The body shop owner is planning to retire.

"We want to build a building that looks like it was built at the turn of the century," said Randy Sekerez, who is partnering with Struebig Development Inc. on the project. "I think it's going be the second best-looking building in the county."

The best-looking building is the old courthouse, he added. But the courthouse is just one reason some Plan Commission members are concerned about the project on the land Sekerez will seek to rezone from B-2 to B-1 next month.

Under B-2, there's a required 15-foot building setback, while under B-1 construction can go to the property line. Under B-1, there's also no maximum height.

Commission member Paul Bremer said he's worried the building, which could be five-stories tall, might encroach on the sheriff's house and stick out like a sore thumb.

"You can't overshadow the courthouse or the jail next door to it," he said.

Sekerez said he wants to work with the city, including the Historic Preservation Commission, and is willing to pay to landscape the alley next to the sheriff's house and jail, from which famed outlaw John Dillinger escaped in Sheriff Lillian Holley's new V-8 Ford. If Sekerez obtains a B-1 rezone, he will have to go before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a special use that would allow him to build the condos.

While Sekerez didn't have plans for the whole building, he showed drawings of basement level parking and street level parking fronted by retail, with 93 spaces. He wants to extend sidewalk and diagonal parking on Main Street in front of the building, creating eight spaces.

The building likely will be made of brick or limestone and its condos will have hardwood floors, granite counters, jacuzzi tubs and balconies. Penthouse units could go for $500,000 and up, he said.

When questioned by commission member John Marshall about the need for so much parking, Sekerez said he would like to build at least 50 condos, with 14 to 20 on each floor. While Marshall said he has worried the retail part of the building could mean another downtown bar, Sekerez said nothing has been decided.

"It's not going to be something that takes away from anything," Sekerez said. "It's going to enhance the downtown."

Commission President Jim Wirtz reminded members that if they grant the rezoning request and the project falls apart, the property will maintain the new zoning.

"We'd have to be working in good faith that his proposal reaches fruition," he said.

Members Carol Drasga and Paul Keller said they could see some benefits.

"It would sure be an improvement on that corner," Drasga said.

C.P. group plans study because of condo plan

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:54 pm
by Big Dog
C.P. group plans study because of condo plan

CROWN POINT | Members of the Sheriff's House Foundation aren't yet sure what to think of a developer's proposal to build as many as 50 high-end condominiums next door.

But the project has caused the group to think anew about assessing what architectural and structural work the house and jail behind it needs.

"We want to do something with the building relative to and for the community," said Jonathan Forgey, treasurer of the Sheriff's House Foundation. "First we probably need to do something to be able to move forward again."

Forgey said he and Gordon Lorentz are going to do a feasibility study of the buildings. The study will enable the foundation to show developers with potential opportunities exactly what it's planning, he said. While recent grants have helped the foundation restore the wood on the first floor of the sheriff's house, much of the jail is in bad shape because of water damage.

According to Forgey, the group decided to do the assessment after discussing the project proposed by Randy Sekerez and Struebig Development Inc., which could include condos, retail shops and two levels of private parking. Currently, The half-acre property on Walnut Street between Main and East streets currently includes Ron and Son's Auto Repair and what was once a dry cleaners and Laundromat and a tattoo shop.

Sekerez told the city's Plan Commission he wants to work with the Historic Preservation Commission and would pay to landscape the alley next to the sheriff's house and jail, from which outlaw John Dillinger escaped.

There's a general concern among members of the foundation about building something so tall downtown, Forgey said. But there's also another perspective of wanting to meet with the developers and see if they could work together, he said.

Before scheduling any meetings, the group is going to wait and see what the Plan Commission decides Dec. 12, because the project will need to be rezoned and get a special use permit from the Board of Zoning Appeals to contain the condos. The change also would remove the requirement of a 15-foot setback and a height limit.

Green light for C.P. condos

PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 12:58 am
by Big Dog
Green light for C.P. condos


CROWN POINT | The city threw initial support behind a proposal for downtown condos Monday, despite questions about whether the building will provide enough parking for its residents.

Looking at the project from Sekerez Development and Struebig Development as a way to revitalize the downtown square, the Plan Commission voted 6-1 to recommend preliminary approval of the planned unit development to the City Council. The building can be four stories tall with an additional setback penthouse level, according to the commission.

If the City Council approves the project, it will still need a final round of approval from both bodies.

"If we don't work with them on this, I think we're missing the boat," Commissioner Paul Keller said.

Only Commissioner Paul Bremer voted against the project, citing not enough parking and a desire to see the building scaled down to three stories with setbacks from the property line. A handful of residents and Lucrezia's owner Nada Karas also spoke out against the sheer volume proposed.

"We're trying to put 4 pounds in a 2-pound bag," Bremer said.

Parking was the major issue on commission members' minds for the site at 238 S. Main St. and 229 S. East St. Developer Randy Sekerez, who said the building will have a maximum 65 units, told the group two parking spaces per unit was too difficult a demand to meet. Each space costs him $12,500, he said.

He is currently proposing 98 spaces, or a minimum rate of 1.5 spaces per unit. He anticipates the building will draw empty-nesters and some single people who will have one car.

But members John Marshall and Steve Farley said they didn't know any couples with just one car. The commission told Sekerez to meet a rate of 1.75 spaces per unit.

There is also a possibility, Sekerez said, that he could secure parking inside the old jail next door if he can work out a deal with the Sheriff's House Foundation or the city.

While in recent weeks a small group has been trying to garner support to turn the condo property into a plaza, Keller pointed out that wasn't going to happen unless someone comes up with money.

Commission President Jim Wirtz saw a downside to leaving the space open.

"A park isn't going to screen that old jail," he said. "I think we need something large to screen that old building."


PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 4:18 pm
by Up All Night
More condos for C.P.


CROWN POINT | The city's developers seem to have condos on their minds.

Developer Tom Fleming has filed to have a workshop at the March 13 Plan Commission meeting to discuss a proposal for a condominium building at the corner of North Main Street and Robinson Court.

Plans for the site, at 124 N. Main St. where Dr. Mary Carroll had an office, include a 9,000-square-foot office or commercial first floor with residential condos on the second and third floors and underground parking. The brick building would have 18 condos and a private rooftop sun deck.

After months of discussion, the Plan Commission gave an early nod last week to a proposal for condos downtown at Main and Walnut streets. That development could be four stories with a setback penthouse and up to 65 condos.

But the Fleming project likely will face fewer hurdles because the site at Robinson Court and Main Street is zoned B-1, meaning it can be built on to the property line with no maximum height.

While it still is early in the process, Fleming said Friday the condos will probably go for $135,000 to $150,000, catering to people who can no longer drive and young professionals who aren't ready for a house.

The architect he often works with, Gary Weaver, of Weaver Design Group in Indianapolis, has been after him to do something like this for eight years, Fleming said. But finding a big enough space to do the project right wasn't easy.

While Fleming envisions the building fitting into the style of existing buildings, a drawing of the facade also shows an atrium that could serve as a landmark announcing the entrance to the downtown.

"To me, it's a project I think that can really help re-establish the way the town should go," he said.

The Plan Commission will listen to a presentation about the condo project Monday, March 13.

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2006 4:19 pm
by Up All Night
What's up with all the condos?

Re: Crown Point Condos

PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:25 pm
by rock star
Planners OK rezoning for city square project

April 15, 2008

By Michelle L. Quinn Post-Tribune correspondent

CROWN POINT -- After at least two years of discussion, all that stood between approval of the Sekerez-Struebig development at the square's south end was 13 feet.

The Plan Commission in the end, however, voted 6-1, with Dan Rohaley dissenting, to approve a rezone for the property at 238 S. Main and 299 S. East from B-2 to B-1. Sekerez and Struebig will demolish the buildings there and build seven single-family townhouses and one multiuse building.

The project will have a historic facade on it and will blend in with the neighborhood, said Randy Sekerez, one of the developers. The first floor of the multiuse building would be retail, while the second and third floors would have two condominiums apiece.

The townhouses, meanwhile, would be along Walnut, Sekerez said.

Rohaley, while in favor of the project in theory, said he was concerned that the buildings would obstruct the view of the Old Sheriff's House, which has a 13-foot setback as opposed to other buildings in the area. Rohaley is a member of the Old Sheriff's House Foundation.

To that end, Sekerez agreed to set the third floor of the multiuse building back 15 feet but said moving the entire building back would be too expensive.

Resident Joan Heidbreder, whose husband, John, sits on the Old Sheriff's House Foundation as well, said Sekerez and Struebig should've thought about the cost beforehand.

"It's not our fault," she said. "This project will shade the side yard (of the sheriff's house) and ruin it."

Mayor Dave Uran and Commissioner Carol Drasga commended Sekerez for all the work he'd put into the plan. Drasga said she would hate to see the city lose the development because of a 13-foot difference.

Re: Crown Point Condos

PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:49 pm
by rock star
219.662.5331 | Wednesday, August 27, 2008 |

CROWN POINT | A proposed downtown development received the nod of approval from the city's Board of Zoning Appeals for the residence portion of the condo, townhome and retail development.

The 3-2 vote came after about 15 minutes of discussion by the board, relatively quickly considering the scrutiny the project has received at other meetings.

Local developer Randy Sekerez asked the BZA to grant him a special use to allow residences in the area of 238 S. Main St. and 299 S. East St., currently zoned for businesses. He plans to build a three-story building along Main Street that would have retail space on the first floor with two condos on each of the other floors. Along Walnut Street, Sekerez has plans for seven luxury townhomes.

When Sekerez asked for the property to be rezoned, the Plan Commission approved the request in a 6-1 vote in April, but the City Council took two months to make a decision after lengthy discussions among its members and hearing from residents who were concerned about the transition from downtown to the nearby neighborhood, safety and parking.

On Monday night a representative from a nearby church asked about parking. Sekerez responded each residential unit will have two enclosed parking spaces with seven additional parking spots. He said there would be eight additional parking spaces on Main Street.

Sekerez reiterated the rezoning came with the conditions that the new zoning would only apply to this project and the third floor would be set back to have a balcony.

The City Council is scheduled to vote on final approval for the special use at its meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday.