Chesterton Tribune



Upscale rental community eyed for acreage east of Kelle Drive

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The developers and operators of The Enclave at Coffee Creek Center as well as Traditions at The Village in Burns Harbor are promising that their newest project--dubbed Conservancy Point and also slated for Coffee Creek Center--will be the finest rental community in Northwest Indiana.

Michael Sakich and Jon Hicks of In Good Company (ICG), accompanied by their engineer, Jeff Ban of DVG Inc., appeared before the Chesterton Advisory Plan Commission at its meeting Thursday night, seeking a public hearing on an amended plan unit development ordinance.

Ban gave this summary of the project:

* 170 rental units--39 fewer than were originally permitted in the PUD--in 23 buildings of seven different types ranging from duplexes to 12-plexes, located on 15.84 acres bounded by Rail Road to the north, Kelle Drive to the west, Sidewalk Road to the south, and the Coffee Creek Watershed Conservancy to the east. Density under the original PUD: 11.1 units per acre. Density under the proposed amended PUD: 9.39 per acre.

* The complex will include 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, ranging from 943 square feet to 1,470 square feet. The architecture of the buildings will be what Ban called the “Prairie style,” with masonry exteriors done in earth tones.

* Each rental unit will have its own attached, indoor, one-car garage.

* Both detention ponds will feature a fountain, with stormwater ultimately being discharged into Coffee Creek.

* The complex will include in its interior, just east of a central traffic roundabout, a swimming pool, a children’s play area, a fitness center, and a cafe. “It will be a space for residents to mix and meet and make community in,” Ban said. Between the east building line and the east property line, there is also a “considerable amount” of open space, which tends to merge seamlessly into Conservancy property.

* Phase I--comprising the south half of the complex as far north as, and including, the clubhouse--would be developed first, beginning in the fall of 2015 with completion by the fall of 2016. Phase II--the north half of the complex--would be developed next, beginning in the fall of 2017 with completion by the fall of 2018.

* All interior infrastructure would remain under the ownership and be maintained by ICG. Conservancy Point would not be a gated community.

Sakich took a moment after Ban’s presentation to say that Conservancy Point is specifically aimed at the “renters by choice” demographic: empty-nesters looking to downsize, young professionals not yet in a position to buy a house, older professionals uninterested in committing to a house.

“This is going to be the nicest rental project in the northern part of the state,” Sakich said. “Nothing like it exists in the region at all.”

Planners generally liked what they heard, although Jeff Trout did say that he would hope to see an effort made at “connectivity” with the Conservancy, such that a walking path or trail beginning on IGC property and leading into the Conservancy proper would link the whole to the southern reaches of the Conservancy.

Sakich said that there have been discussions of just such a thing with Katie Rizer, executive director of the Conservancy.

Planners voted 6-0 to hold a public hearing on an amended PUD at their next meeting, Aug. 20. Planner Emerson DeLaney was not in attendance.

The Amendments

Among other things, the amended PUD would eliminate all residential uses on the property immediately west of the complex: on the opposite side of Kelle Drive, south of Rail Road and north of Sidewalk Road.

It would also set the maximum number of units at 170, down from 209 in the original PUD.

And it would consolidate a previous concept plan for the acreage, eliminating several lots in one block and alleys in another, forego the proposed development of retail or commercial in the project area, and forego as well the proposed development of a Buelle Drive, a Dille Drive, and a Canright Court.



Posted 7/20/2015




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