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Monday October 22, 2018

newporte landing primed for take off

Friday, October 27, 2017 13:38 PM
Written by Stan Maddux
Category: Local News

There's already a Dunkin' Donuts there and Starbucks is about to open but a redeveloped brownfield site in LaPorte could be ready to really take off.

A decision Wednesday by the LaPorte Redevelopment Commission could mean several new retailers or restaurants going up at New Porte Landing next summer.

Holladay Properties, the contracted developer of the old Allis Chalmers site, was given permission to construct their own buildings in the heart of the 45 acre shovel ready property along Pine Lake Ave.

Bert Cook, executive director of the Greater LaPorte Economic Development Corporation, said it's a standard move in the industry to give developers more control once their negotiations with prospective companies advance to a certain point.

''If you're looking at it from the developer's perspective, obviously, they're not going

to build the building unless they have people to occupy that building,'' said Cook.

Typically, whenever talks reach this stage, developers wanting their own buildings

start having blueprints drawn up to the specifications of prospective tenants and actual construction begins once deals between the negotiating parties become official.

Holladay Properties with offices in Portage and South Bend has plans right now to construct one building next year.

Cook, though, believes other structures will be going up.

''They do have some interested parties at the moment and the hope is as they design the building and put the plan in place to construct that building that will also generate additional interest from other tenants that will occupy that space,'' Cook said.

Adding to the excitement is Starbucks expecting to open in early December and construction of a new Dunes Event Center starting any day now at NewPorte Landing.

The business offering primarily volleyball for practice and competitions is relocating from Rolling Prairie to a new 50,000 square feet metal building on the southeast corner of the grounds near Clear Lake.

The new facility will contain twice as much space and puts the tens of thousands of people who go there annually closer to a lot more restaurants and other amenities than what's provided at the current rural location.

Cook said the traffic generated by the athletic facility is exactly what was desired for the success

of both NewPorte Landing and the nearby downtown to be connected eventually by a new road to the development.

Mayor Mark Krentz, who formerly served on the redevelopment commission, said the pump is primed now for an area viewed as key to the city's future.

''We are all on the same page there and all excited about it,'' said Krent
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