The actual sale of 157 acres at Coffee Creek Center to Urschel Laboratories
Inc. is contingent on zoning approval, and the Chesterton Advisory Plan
Commission helped move that along Thursday.
Meeting briefly, members set a public hearing May 16 on Urschel’s request to
amend landowner Lake Erie Land’s existing planned unit development for
Coffee Creek Center. LEL is technically the petitioner.
Vote was 6-0 with member Jeff Ton absent.
The commission initially waived a requirement that the PUD paperwork be
filed at least 17 days prior to last night’s meeting; the packet was filed
April 12 but commission attorney Charles Parkinson said he’s satisfied the
petition is sufficient under the town’s ordinance.
Urschel director of real estate Bill Baker told the commission the
family-owned company is fast-tracking its move from Valparaiso, where the
company has been located for 100 years, to Chesterton for the next 100
He noted final sale of the 157 acres also is contingent on successful
negotiations with the Coffee Creek Center property owners’ association and
the Coffee Creek Conservancy.
Urschel hopes to break ground in June or July with construction estimated to
take 18 months for the more than 350,000 square-foot facility and
headquarters where approximately 360 people will be employed.
Parkinson said to stay on schedule, Urschel will be platting the 75-acre
Phase 1 for its current use concurrent with the PUD process. Phase 2, for
which Baker said there are no plans at this time other than future
development, will require additional commission approval.
Commission and Town Council member Jeff Trout said Urschel’s changes to its
proposal since a concept review last month reflect what was discussed at
Mike Ford of SEH Indiana Inc. outlined the few site-plan changes including a
new roundabout at the east end of Gateway Boulevard, after which the road
becomes a private drive for Urschel’s use. Ford assured that the roundabout
is large enough for emergency vehicles and semi-trucks to maneuver.
A detailed description of the Urschel PUD amendments including variances
sought is outlined in the April 17 Chesterton Tribune. The location
of the proposed manufacturing campus is roughly bounded by the extended
Gateway Boulevard on the north and the Indiana Toll Road on the south; a
second entrance would be located off County Road 200E.
According to its website, Urschel specializes in the design, manufacture and
sale of precision commercial food cutting and milling equipment with
customers in the United States and worldwide.
In other commission business, member Sig Niepokoj said a committee met
recently and will meet again May 2 to discuss proposed changes to the town’s
sign ordinance. On the committee in addition to Niepokoj are Parkinson, town
manager Bernie Doyle, Board of Zoning Appeals member Rodney Corder, and
Chesterton/Duneland Chamber of Commerce executive director Heather Ennis.