CARROLL COUNTY – Carroll County has been selected as one of four communities in the state for an economy-boosting site development program.
The program, operated by Duke Energy, works with local economic development organizations to identify potential properties for industrial development and / or redevelopment opportunities.
The Carroll County Economic Development Corporation, in partnership with Camden / Flora Rail Corridor Commission and the City of Camden, has submitted the JNT Farms plot in Camden for Duke Energy’s 2021 Site Preparation Program.
“This is exactly how teamwork pays off,” said Jake Adams, executive director of Carroll County Economic Development Corp. “Most people see an industry taking hold and don’t realize all the collaboration that goes into it. We are delighted to have a rail serviced asset to market for potential projects. “
JNT Farms is a 90 acre site along East 450 North, just northeast of Camden. It is currently used for agriculture.
The others chosen were a 175 acre site in Charlestown, a 46.5 acre parcel in Poseyville, and a 150 acre site in West Lafayette.
“Economic development is a team sport,” said Erin Schneider, Indiana economic development manager for Duke Energy. “Thus, we work closely over the long term with our local and regional economic development partners to help bring lasting economic improvements for each community. “
A nationally recognized site selection company, Site Selection Group (SSG), will assess and make specific recommendations to further develop sites to attract business. In addition to concept drawings for the four sites, Banning Engineering of Plainfield will review and present its recommendations for sites located in Carroll and Posey counties.
At the end of the program, SSG and Banning will present their findings for each site – including concept drawings – to local economic development officials.
Once each site’s readiness progresses, Duke Energy’s business development team will strategically market these sites nationwide to companies looking to expand or relocate their operations.
Ideal properties for Duke Energy’s site preparation program are typically 40 acres or more, serviced by the utility, or a vacant industrial building of at least 20,000 square feet identified to support renewed industrial growth and development. sustainable in a community.
Photo of Eric Ayres Thomas Simons, left, senior vice president of Woda Cooper Companies, and Charles Garvick, president of Chadan Engineering, address members of the Wheeling Planning Commission on Monday.
WHEELING – Officials at the Marsh Wheeling Lofts offered by the Woda Cooper companies believe there is a healthy market for residential living in downtown Wheeling that is not at risk of being “oversaturated” by the abundance of projects moving forward .
Thomas Simons, senior vice president of the Woda Cooper Companies, and Charles Garvick, president of Chadan Engineering, appeared before the Wheeling Planning Commission on Monday evening for a site plan review for the Marsh Wheeling Lofts project.
The Woda project aims to build a new four-storey, 46-unit apartment complex on vacant land in block 900 of Main Street.
Planning Commissioner William Schwarz asked if developers are concerned that downtown Wheeling will be ‘saturated’ with residential properties, given that the Historic Wheeling-Pitt Lofts project is also advancing, promising to create 128 new ones. apartments only two. city blocks.
“Do you think we ended up with too many vacant apartments in the city center? Schwarz asked.
“That’s a great question,” Simons said. “Obviously on the lending side we had to do a full market research analysis of the community we’re in. It’s the market rate – it’s not housing for workers like LaBelle Greene. With our waiting list at Boury Lofts, we don’t think there will be a problem, even with the Wheeling-Pitt building if this ends. We are very excited about these units.
The Woda Cooper Companies have spearheaded several successful housing projects in the city in recent years, including the award-winning Boury Lofts property and Stone Center Lofts downtown, as well as several phases of the LaBelle Greene worker housing complexes in South Wheeling and in Providence. Greene Seniors Apartments in North Wheeling.
Simons said they believe there is a strong market for downtown residential living in the friendly city, and Woda is working to fill that void with new apartments.
Planning Committee members inquired about parking for the Marsh Wheeling Lofts, as only five parking spaces were provided for in the plans. Wheeling’s director of construction and planning, Tom Connelly, said downtown residential and commercial buildings do not have to provide off-street parking as they do in other areas of the city. city where zoning requirements differ.
“There is no parking requirement in the downtown area,” Connelly said, noting that parking garages and other public parking areas are available.
“We have an agreement with the town of Wheeling,” said Simons. “We will be renting 40 to 41 parking spaces in the parking garage on 10th Street. We have an agreement to enter into a 10 year lease with four additional extensions over the years for parking in the garage. We are at least 30 years old.
Planning Commission Vice Chairman Jeremy West asked the developers if core samples were taken to verify that the foundations are suitable for this development, noting that there appears to be some settlement on the surface terrain. where the lofts are to be built.
“I never remember a building there,” West said. “As far as I know, it has always been a parking lot. This lot, especially at the entrance, is really starting to flow.
Simons said he did two phases of soil sampling.
“We’ve done the geotechnical report for that already, and there’s backfilling in various places there,” Garvick added. “It’s not deep – maybe two to four feet in some areas – but that will all be sorted out during the construction phase.”
If all goes according to plan, the project is expected to start in July this year and end in September 2022.
Planning Commissioner Jeff Mauck noted that the loft site is located at a busy intersection that will become even busier in the future as work on Interstate 70 continues and the Wheeling Downtown Streetscape Project kicks off. Some commissioners expressed concerns about the availability of a staging area for construction materials and equipment.
“Why did you all choose the name Marsh Wheeling Lofts,” asked Dave Palmer, Wheeling City Councilor and member of the Planning Commission, saying he found it somewhat confusing since the building to the north of the site is there. old Marsh Wheeling Stogie building with the iconic sign still on top.
“We looked at this building years ago,” Simons said, noting that the Woda Group was interested in a rehabilitation project similar to their Boury Lofts development, but that plan did not materialize for a variety of reasons. “We’re not sure the building will still be there. We wanted to make sure that at least the name will be there. It’s just a historical name.
Palmer noted that if anyone wanted to develop the Marsh Wheeling Stogies building, they might be upset that the name had already been taken by a nearby apartment complex.
Nevertheless, the review of the site plan was unanimously approved. Attending an in-person meeting for the first time since last fall, Planning Commission members joked that they almost forgot how to vote electronically in the city council chamber after meeting via Zoom during so many months because of the pandemic.
“I think it will be an improvement to the gateway to our city, especially coming off the bridge,” Mauck said of the Marsh Wheeling Lofts project. “It will dress her very well. Hopefully this will be an inspiration to others in the area who already have businesses and buildings they own. “
On Thursday evening, Westwood City Council unanimously approved a site plan for the new Westwood View Elementary building, a project related to the $ 264 million bond issue recently approved by Shawnee Mission.
Shawnee Mission will build a new school at 4935 Belinder Avenue, the former site of the Entercom radio tower that the district purchased in 2016.
Westwood Mayor David Waters said the city’s strong identification with elementary school means the new building is not just about ensuring children have the best possible education, but is about the future of the Westwood community.
“It’s a community affair,” Waters said. “This is not a piece of property, it really is the heart and soul of our community – and the future of our community in many ways.”
Site map details
Crews have already started demolishing the old radio station, and construction of the new school building is expected to start in the summer of 2021.
The district expects it to be completed by December 2022, when students at Rushton Elementary School will move into the current Westwood View building about a block from the old Entercom site while their school is in operation. rebuilt.
Here are some details of the Westwood view Sitemap, as stated by the district architects at the meeting:
Several creative outdoor spaces including three outdoor classrooms and a patio next to the cafeteria for lunchtime visitors.
The parking lot, which is on the edge of Belinder Avenue, will be about three feet lower than Belinder. It is an effort to be a conscious neighbor and block surrounding residents from the light and noise that will be coming from the school.
Westwood View will accommodate approximately 550 students, nearly double the capacity of the current building.
Two soft play areas (like a grass play area with fall protection) and a hard play area that will likely be asphalt.
A field that can accommodate soccer and other sports and activities.
The gymnasium will be designed to withstand winds of 250 miles per hour and will also have an area where students and staff can retreat in the event of a tornado or other extreme weather conditions.
Residents’ concerns about traffic
Two residents, Jan Kyle and Jennifer Merrill, expressed concern about the additional traffic an elementary school would bring on Belinder Avenue.
Kyle said that while she and her husband voted in favor of the bond measure that the new Westwood View was a part of, they don’t think it’s owned by the old Entercom site.
They argued that he should have gone to Rainbow Boulevard on the former site of Westwood Christian Church.
Likewise, Merrill said she saw traffic increase on Belinder when a car is parked on the street – which she said residents do frequently as most of the driveways to homes in the area are the width of ‘one car.
As Rushton students make their way to the current school building in 2023, Merrill said she was concerned about the impact of traffic from two elementary schools on the community of Westwood.
“I’m very, very concerned about the foresight of what this will create in our little community,” Merrill said. “I’m all for school, as I said before. I am less than happy to have the parking lot and all the round trip traffic flow to Belinder.
Board member Jeff Harris said a traffic study had been conducted on the site and concluded that there would be no issues with the placement of Westwood View.
While there are likely to be changes with the new location, Harris said the pandemic has proven humans can adapt – and he has confidence in city staff to stay adaptable as challenges arise in the city. during this process.
Other council members shared similar sentiments, including council member Jason Hannaman who said that while he was upset he and the city could not please all residents, the same concerns would arise in any other place.
The city council unanimously approved the site plan, on the condition that an analysis of the mandates at 49th Terrace and Belinder Avenue be carried out on the first fall of the school’s opening.
The analysis will determine whether additional measures such as a crosswalk for child safety need to be implemented at the intersection.