The Town of Burns
Harbor was awarded a $1.78 million Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)
Next Level Trails grant, the Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission announced
at its meeting last night.
RDC president Eric
Hull reported Burns Harbor was one of 17 awardees chosen from a pool of 82
The RDC also got
word that they’ve received $168,000 in grant funding from the IDNR
Recreational Trails Program (RTP).
The additions mean
that the Burns Harbor portion of the Marquette Greenway Trail is now
portion of the Trail is a $4.9 million project, according to Karnerblue
Consultant Tina Rongers, who has led the RDC’s efforts to obtain a total of
$3.6 million in grants for the Trail.
The $1.78 million
in Next Level Trails funding will cover construction of the Marquette
Greenway from Ind. 149 west to the Town’s boundary with Portage. The RTP
funding will go toward the Town connector section of the Greenway, which
will begin at Ind. 149 and run along the northern property line of the Food
Truck Square site and the 28-acres adjacent to it that the Town recently
acquired from the Duneland School Corporation.
Mitigation, and Air Quality (CMAQ) grant from the Federal Highway
Administration provided $1.65 million last year. The remaining $1.3 million
will come from the RDC budget, which is funded by Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
the project is currently in the environmental review phase, with SEH
Engineering conducting environmental surveys and studies that are expected
to conclude with environmental approval in October. Preliminary engineering
will be ready in June, Rongers said.
Hull reported the
RDC will get with SEH next month to create a timeline for the project now
that all the funding has come together.
business, the Town connector portion of the Trail will likely wind through a
new Town center development on the combined 32-acres across Ind. 149 from
the Town hall, which includes the four-acre Food Truck Square site and the
former DSC parcel.
That parcel, now
being called the “Westport Development Site,” will eventually be filled in
with private investment solicited over the next year by Holladay Properties.
The RDC approved a
Master Development Agreement with Holladay last night, after they were the
most attractive option at the table following the RDC’s Request for
Qualifications (RFQ) seeking a master developer last year. The agreement is
not to exceed $48,000 for 12 months of guiding development on the Westport
site, with an option to add additional months for $4,000 each.
Hull said, “I think
the turning point for us is that Holladay is not working for us as much as
they are working with us as a partner in it and not just an employee or
somebody we’ve hired as a contractor.”
Hull said the
Westport site has historically been a gathering place in Burns Harbor, and
“The Town envisions a vibrant center where people can experience a Duneland
community that is a harmonious blend of residential, commercial and
industrial uses next to the Indiana Dunes National Park” in the new
headquartered in South Bend, and is the same master developer behind the
$160 million Ameriplex business park in Portage.
Partner and Vice-president Mike Micka said Holladay Properties strives “to
enrich communities through investment and service.
“We will assure
that this is not a planning process but a pathway to development that grows
tax base, creates jobs and improves quality of life,” Micka said.