Chesterton Tribune

Family Express station proposed for US 6 near hospital

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Family Express is on the Porter County Plan Commission’s agenda for its June 27 meeting requesting a technical change to written commitments for a commercial zoning near the new Porter hospital to permit a fuel/convenience store at 77 East U.S. 6 in Liberty Twp.

The station is proposed for a parcel of land owned by St. Andrew’s Development. The location is in the 15 acres rezoned Moderate Intensity Commercial (CM) on the southern entrance of the property designated for uses such as restaurants and pharmacies. Both St. Andrew’s and Family Express will seek separate approvals from the 9-member plan commission to include “automotive” in the zoning.

Family Express President and CEO Gus Olympidis said his company, which has more than 50 stores throughout Northwest Indiana, looks to build a scaled-down version of its typical Colonial style convenient store as seen in other large development areas like Aberdeen and Sand Creek.

“We are excited about this location, because the services we will be providing are a perfect match for the services that are needed by Porter employees and patient visitors alike,” Olympidis said.

The store would have the same landscaping emphasis but will not have a car wash or a very large fueling facility, according to Olympidis. Aside from unleaded, mid-grade and premium fuels, it will also carry hundreds of other items such as fresh milk.

Olympidis said that although the company is not a part of St. Andrew’s Development, Family Express will be following the same architectural style.

Zoning for the 109-acre St. Andrews property adjacent to the new hospital was officially approved by the county commissioners in February 2011. The developers are interested in building medical offices in the middle of the property and retirement housing and assisted living facilities to the north. The firm achieved a multitude of variances from the Porter County BZA over the course of last year.

The legal representative for St. Andrew’s, attorney Todd Leeth, said the commercial and office areas will likely be developed the fastest since the hospital will be opening this August and said he expects the residential areas to be developed later.

The plan commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. on June 27 inside the Porter County Administrative Center (155 Indiana Ave.) in Valparaiso to consider the request.


Posted 6/18/2012