I-65 Corridor

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I-65 Corridor

Postby Big Dog » Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:27 pm

Discussion of I-65 Corridor portion of master plan.

Plan is located here: http://www.crownpoint.net/CP_Master_Plan/Master_Plan_Index.html

Along the Interstate 65 corridor alone, Lakota plans show 3,391 residential units, 2.3 million square feet of office space, 3.7 million square feet of commercial space, and a business park consisting of more than 10.9 million square feet.
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Postby Super Fly » Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:20 am

2.3 million square feet of office. I just don't see it anytime in the next 20 years. That much housing maybe, but I can't imagine that much office space.
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Postby Big Dog » Wed Sep 14, 2005 3:27 am

Crown Point I-65 retail center delayed

CROWN POINT | In the rush to be the first to develop at the intersection of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231, Lauth Property Group hit a few major speed bumps Monday.

The Crown Point Plan Commission voted 6-0 to defer the development group's site plan proposal for a retail shopping center for 30 days because of the city's need to plan a route for Mississippi Street south of U.S. 231 and pass design standards for the area.

But the commission also briefly considered denying the detailed site plan proposal for The Shops at East Point when pressured by Lauth to make those decisions in less than two to three months.

"This is huge, this is a huge statement," commission member Carol Drasga said. "I think this will lead us and it should be the reverse."

Attorney Richard Anderson, representing Lauth, argued that slowing the project down would endanger its viability. If the commission left the timeline for the approval process open-ended, "it would be better off for you to deny us," he said.

To appease Lauth, the commission agreed to hold a special meeting in the next month for a public hearing on the I-65 corridor development guidelines, which were released Monday afternoon. The meeting will give the City Council a chance to adopt the standards at its Oct. 3 meeting. But coming up with a plan for Mississippi Street will be trickier.

Plans for the retail center, presented by Jack Lashenik, of American Consulting, showed the street southeast of the 53-acre parcel's property, on land St. Anthony Medical Center has already announced plans to develop. Seth Warren, president of St. Anthony's, said that while he had met with Lauth and city officials a few times to talk about working together, this was the first time he had seen Lauth's drawings.

"They've nicely put a pedestrian path on our property without sharing it with us," Warren said. He would like to see Mississippi Street straddle the two properties, he said.

Joe Downs, vice president of retail development for Lauth, put part of the blame for the confusion on the city.

"We've been asking city staff where Mississippi should be since the day we started," he said.

Contract City Engineer Kate Weese said she had not had enough time to look at Lauth's plans and that there were still a lot of issues to work out with regard to right of way, U.S. 231 improvements and access points, and the necessary approval by the Indiana Department of Transportation.

But consulting engineer Jeff Ban, representing St. Anthony, conceded that in the next month, he could tell city officials what the hospital could and could not live with in terms of the street's location.

Commission member Steve Farley pointed out that last month, when the Plan Commission recommended approval of Lauth's rezone request, Economic Development Director Frank Mosko said Lauth officials offered to delay their request for site plan approval until design standards were in place.

But commission member John Marshall focused more on helping to keep the project alive Monday.

"This is a viable project," he said. "We need to figure out where Mississippi Street is."
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Postby -={ARCLIGHT}=- » Fri Sep 23, 2005 11:37 am

City answering burning Mississippi questions

Wow is that awkward phrasing!

Engineers have two weeks to design plans for street

The city inched closer Thursday to a plan for routing Mississippi Street through a series of proposed major developments south of Interstate 65 and U.S. 231.

What is it? This kind of stuff takes them forever to decide, but they had no problems like this when they decided to demolish one entire side of the historic square?

"The city has decided to take charge of the placement," Economic Development Director Frank Mosko said.

Which begs the question if the city will need to hire a consultant to do so.

Mosko met with contract City Engineer Kate Weese and engineers from The Schneider Corp., who worked on designing the extension of the road when the city was trying to bring Gordon Foods to the area.

That was nearly TWO YEARS ago, haven't they figured it out yet?

In question is where Mississippi Street will meet U.S. 231, which it must do at a perpendicular angle, and the street's layout to the south. The engineers are going to research their old plans and also take into account the interests of the three development entities: Lauth Property Group, St. Anthony Medical Center and V3 Realty Company LLC.

They have civil engineers, you cannot tell me that it is that difficult to make a north-south and an east-west meet at a 90 degree angle.

While the engineers have a two-week deadline, Mosko said he expects to have a basic idea about the plans even sooner than that to run past developers.

A two week deadline after TWO YEARS of looking at this property!

In terms of paying for construction of the street, Mosko said there is still a proposal on the table that would involve using some tax increment financing money generated from the developments. Significant improvements on U.S. 231 near the I-65 interchange also likely will be needed.

For goodness sake, did you really remodel US231 and I65 just last year without considering this? Who gets held accountable for that?

City officials met with the development entities in recent months to discuss the street's route, but made no final decisions.

But tearing apart the historic square >snap!< just like that!

Earlier this month, the Plan Commission voted 6-0 to defer voting on Lauth's site plan proposal for a retail center called The Shops at East Point because designs standards for the I-65 corridor hadn't been passed and many outstanding questions about Mississippi Street remained.

What . . . tie it up in committee waiting to get one's palm greased?

Lauth showed designs at the meeting that put the street southeast of the 53-acre parcel, on land St. Anthony already announced plans to develop.

When questioned about the placement, Joe Downs, vice president of retail development for Lauth, said he'd been trying to get answers from the city about Mississippi Street from the moment development negotiations began.

It sounds like this guy is getting tired of waiting around for decissions to be made and is ready to throw up his hands, like the Ready Mix company that decided to go to Merrillville, rather than wait around for Crown Point to make a damn decision.

Weese said she hadn't had enough time to look at Lauth's plans and that many right of way and access issues must be worked out. Richard Anderson, an attorney representing Lauth, urged the city to move quickly or risk losing the project.

You have had two years, you have two weeks left. Now get the stick out and get a move-on before you drop the ball yet again!

Can't we call Purdue and get some first year engineering students cracking on this?
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Postby Big Dog » Mon Sep 26, 2005 7:15 pm

I-65 guidelines on the table

CROWN POINT | The coming week could be an important one for the future of the city's Interstate 65 corridor.

The Crown Point Plan Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday about development guidelines for the area, stretching from east of Broadway and south of 101st Avenue to north of 129th Street and west of Iowa Street. Up for discussion will be standards to guide site development that were put together by The Lakota Group, a Chicago-based consulting firm.

But some city officials might still be considering a Valparaiso ordinance, which contains stricter standards for large retail establishments of more than 30,000 square feet, or big box stores such as Wal-Mart. Valparaiso passed the law a few months ago.

City Councilman Bob Corbin, R-5th, brought up the ordinance at a special City Council meeting last week and said he was interested in doing something similar because it defines an owner's responsibility when a store is abandoned.

Mayor Dan Klein said Thursday that he likes that the ordinance addresses what happens when a store is vacated. While that's not something the city has to worry about for 10 to 15 years, it's something to prepare for, Klein said. He's also leaning toward stricter corridor guidelines to control the quality of development, he said.

Valparaiso's motivation behind the ordinance was to require large retail establishments to consider the community's best interests in terms of aesthetics, design and access, said Craig Phillips, Valparaiso planning director.

Because the city doesn't have a lot of land available for retail development, and its comprehensive plan doesn't call for much more in the future, officials need to hold what is available to high standards, Phillips said.

"We want to hold people's feet to the fire," he said.

Crown Point, on the other hand, has fewer retail developments and more land available for opportunities, he said.

Both the Lakota guidelines and the ordinance guard against monotony, calling for interesting architectural features and landscaping, and discouraging massive parking lots in front of large retail buildings. But the Valparaiso ordinance is more specific, listing the kinds of trees that should be planted and prohibiting some building materials from being used predominantly on exteriors.

Officials will have to decide how specific they want to be, said Curt Graves, Crown Point building and planning director.

"There's a danger that you could scare some businesses away in being so strict," Graves said. "There's a happy balance you have to have there."

Jim Wirtz, Plan Commission president, said last week that he hadn't had a chance to study or compare the proposed guidelines. But, he said he already thinks the parking lots in Lauth Property Group's proposal for The Shops at East Point, just south of the I-65 and U.S. 231 intersection, will have to be redesigned.

Wirtz said he wasn't sure what other Plan Commission members are thinking, but stressed the importance of the guidelines in creating a welcoming gateway to the city.

"You want to have it look nice," he said. "That's the whole goal."

The Plan Commission will hold a public hearing about the guidelines for development of the Interstate 65 corridor at 7 p.m. Thursday in City Council Chambers, 101 N. East St.

nwitimes 9/25/05
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Postby Big Dog » Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:03 pm

Public questions I-65 guidelines

CROWN POINT | Design guidelines for Crown Point's Interstate 65 corridor got a lukewarm reception during a Plan Commission public hearing Thursday, particularly from developers concerned about meeting them.

Among their worries are standards recommending 100-foot landscape buffers along the expressway and, for big box stores, putting no more than 60 percent of parking in front of their main entrances. Others raised questions about how flexible, if at all, city officials will be when applying the standards.

Doug Vandernoord, who is developing a property in the corridor, said none of the layouts he is considering would fit the guidelines. He is additionally worried about the cost of submitting local plans with his development proposals, detailing everything from locations of nearby schools to large wetlands and trails.

"I have a concern just about the 'iron-cladness' of this," he said. "I'd hate to be the first guy to come in the day after these are passed with a nice looking shopping center but need 50 variances."

Commission member Carol Drasga said she knows the city will get lots of requests for exceptions but thinks developers will be able to meet the higher standards. They'll have to think a different way, she said.

But Joe Downs of Lauth Property Group, which is currently trying to bring a retail center to the intersection of I-65 and U.S. 231, also said the parking guidelines were problematic.

"It's potentially a deal-breaking issue for the project so we're going to have to come to grips with that," he said.

Commission leaders Jim Wirtz said he would like to see the buffer be non-negotiable but allow for give and take on parking lot locations.

Mayor Dan Klein told the audience the design standards will raise the bar for what the city stands for, part of his campaign promise. Development is coming to the city, whether guidelines are in place or not, he said.

"I think the guidelines that are before you are to help all of us, and I think they will bring a different retailer, a different developer, a different builder to our community, but it's going to be for the positive," he said.

One member of the public, Karin Mason, said the city might be setting the bar a little too high, though. She suggested officials work harder to cooperate with Lauth officials.

"That property has been sitting there for 40 years not generating taxes," she said. "We now have the potential of having something. Don't mess it up. Don't put your standards to the level where you're going to run people off just because of minor details."

City Councilmen Bob Corbin and Bill Condron, who attended the meeting, argued they would rather see the land remain a cornfield than have the development rushed.

"If you want to shop at Wal-Mart go to Merrillville," Corbin said. "What I hear this group saying is we want higher standards."

The Plan Commission briefly talked about following Valparaiso's lead and adding rules regarding abandonment of big box stores to the guidelines. But Frank Mosko, Crown Point's economic development director, urged officials to create a separate ordinance to deal with the issue. The commission also agreed to define big box stores as 65,000 or 70,000 square feet and up.

Because the group wanted to make some changes and additions to the document, it deferred voting on the guidelines until its Oct. 10 meeting.

NWITimes 9/30/05
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