Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor TIF board hears Westport PUD updates

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The Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission heard updates on the Westport planned unit development (PUD) at its meeting Wednesday.

Holladay Properties Partner and Vice-president Mike Micka reported Holladay presented a concept plan for the Westport PUD to the Burns Harbor Plan Commission Feb. 3, then returned in March after accounting for the Board’s suggestions.

Holladay is the master developer tasked with planning a new municipal complex and ‘Town Center’ mixed use development on the four-acre Food Truck Square site and adjoining 28 acres the RDC bought from the Duneland School corporation last year. In combination, the 32 acres is called the Westport site.

The concept plan for the Westport site includes a 7,500-square foot municipal office with an attached 15,000-square foot community center, 40 townhomes, 5,800 square feet of mixed use apartment and retail space with an estimated 138 apartments, stormwater detention areas, greenspace, roads, and parking. The concept plan is just a base plan, and the detail work, including schematic design for the municipal office, begins now, Micka said.

The Board approved Micka to release Holladay’s subcontractors Smith Group and Abonmarche to complete the next tasks set forth in the work plan so Abonmarche can begin work on 100 percent design documents, and Smith Group can begin writing the narrative for the PUD ordinance. There could be a public hearing on the finished PUD as early as June 1, if the Plan Commission approves.

RDC member Nick Loving reported he, RDC President Eric Hull, and Karnerblue Consultant Tina Rongers will have more to report about bond options for financing construction on the Westport development at the April 8 meeting.

Marquette Greenway

Rongers reported tree clearing continues for the Marquette Greenway Trail’s Phase 3 corridor, which will run west from Ind. 149 to the Town’s border with Portage.

The only change: Homer Tree Service, which was contracted to do the tree clearing for $164,024, plans to drop the trees, leave them in place, and remove them in June due to concerns about soft soil. The change doesn’t increase costs and keeps the Town in compliance with a mandate to down trees before March 31 to protect bat habitat.

Attorney Clay Patton reports he continues to work on wrapping-up a 60-acre land donation for Phase 3 from Arcelor Mittal.

Good of the Order

RDC members and two citizens in the audience raved about the burgers, seasoned fries, and woodfire pizzas at Burns Harbor’s newest restaurant, Bibi’s Bites, at the intersection of Ind. 149 and U.S. 20.

RDC member Toni Biancardi noted the pizzas are done fast, and Loving praised Bibi’s owner Sejla Harbas for keeping a clean and inviting atmosphere. “The best part about the place is her, by far,” he said. Biancardi agreed: “She’s super friendly.”



Posted 3/13/2010





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