Chesterton Tribune



Developer eyes land at Coffee Creek Center for two new hotels

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A Michigan investment group specializing in hotels is eyeing land in Coffee Creek Center--located immediately north of the Culver’s restaurant--for the development of a Holiday Inn Express and a Fairfield Inn & Suites.

Chesterton Town Manager Bernie Doyle told the Town Council at its meeting Monday night that last week he heard a presentation from the Amerilodge Group of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., which develops hotels both in Michigan and Indiana.

The Fairfield Inn & Suites would feature 87 rooms in three stories and be built immediately east of Ind. 49. The Holiday Inn Express would feature 90 rooms in four stories and be built to the east of the Fairfield. The complex would be accessed by Matson Street and Blackwell Lane.

After the meeting, Doyle told the Chesterton Tribune that Amerilodge initially looked at the empty slab which was to have been a Holiday Inn Express, at the southwest corner of Ind. 49 and Indian Boundary Road, just east of the Best Western. That project was abandoned in 2017 after the owner of the Holiday Inn Express franchise canceled its contract with the developer, Cosmos Hospitality Service LLC.

But Amerilodge didn’t like the location, Doyle said, and instead favors the proximity of the Indiana Toll Road as well as of Urschel Laboratories Inc. “The growth in that area is extremely important to them as well.”

Should Amerilodge pursue the project and the permitting go smoothly, Doyle added, ground could be broken late in the fall or sometime in the spring of 2019. “These guys move pretty fast. This isn’t their first rodeo.”

East Porter Ave. Road Closure Approaching

In other business, Town Engineer Mark O’Dell announced that work will soon begin on re-locating utilities along the East Porter Ave. bridge over Sand Creek, in advance of its demolition later this summer and replacement with a box culvert.

The bad news: motorists can expect East Porter Ave. to be closed at the bridge for about a month, from June 15 through July 15, the permit window given the contractor by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to work in the stream.

East Porter Ave. could be closed longer, if the contractor hits a snag, but in that case the town would have to secure a permit extension from DNR.

Grimmer Construction Inc. of Highland was awarded the contract for its low bid of $619,370.22 Half of the project’s cost will be funded through a 50/50 grant awarded the town through the State of Indiana’s Community Crossings infrastructure program.

Safe Haven Baby Box

Meanwhile, members reiterated their support for the installation of a Safe Haven baby box at the Chesterton Fire station, following enactment by the General Assembly of legislation which permits such boxes to be placed at fire stations manned 24/7.

Members also authorized Fire Chief John Jarka to investigate the ways and means for the installation of such a box, which allows distressed mothers to anonymously give up an unwanted infant. The box would be electronically monitored and climate controlled and so long as there are no signs of the infant’s having been neglected or abused, the mother need fear no criminal investigation.

Member Jim Ton, R-1st, originally expressed an interest in a local safe haven baby box after afterbirth was discovered in a portable toilet along the Prairie Duneland Trail, the day after a baby was left in a box installed at the Coolspring Township Fire Department in Michigan City. A second baby was left in the CTFD’s box on Sunday.


Posted 4/11/2018




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