Chesterton Tribune



Construction begins at Porter Business Park in Liberty Township

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Project leaders, architects, planners, builders and developers plunged gold-painted shovels into the earth Thursday morning just a few hundred feet west of Porter Regional Hospital to announce the start of construction at Porter Business Park.

In July, Hasse Construction will be building a 14,000 sq. ft. commercial retail building on 2.4 acres, near the south end of the property zoned commercial, with eight units.

Kim O’Halloran, representing the building’s owner Janis Development LLC, told the crowd that two tenants are looking to move in once the shell of the building is complete sometime in October -- an unnamed sandwich shop and a clinical laboratory facility. Others possibly interested include a food service provider and a pharmacy, she said.

This will be the first project for Janis Development which is based out of Munster, O’Halloran told the Chesterton Tribune. She said that the new building will bring jobs to the area and hopes to have four tenants by the end of the year.

Architect Tom Kuhn said the building will be “very efficient, attractive and economical.”

Porter Business Park, which at one time was called Porter Medical Campus, is off of U.S. 6 and Indiana 49, between the hospital and Tanner Trace subdivision.

Developer Pat Kleihege of St. Andrews Development said before the hospital, the land was originally intended for single-family homes. He said once the site for the hospital was chosen by Community Health Systems, those plans shifted to include assisted living and senior housing, as well as office and technology with some commercial.

“We had to revisit this project to decide what is the best economic development for this area,” said Kleihege.

Rezonings were approved six years ago by the County and St. Andrews has obtained several variances since then to prepare for development, Kleihege added. The property will have access from CR 900N and to Meridian Rd. through a connection with Timberland Estates.

“In time, it will all tie in together,” Kleihege said.

A few yards north of the commercial building The Argent Group LLC plans a 100-unit assisted living and memory care facility called Journey Senior Living of Valparaiso. Plans for the 93,000 sq. ft. facility were made known earlier this year before the Porter County Plan Commission. St. Andrews was successful in rezoning the property to Institutional to build the facility without having to acquire variances.

Kleihege said building for that project will be this fall.

David Lasser, realtor for the business, shared with the Tribune that several other buildings are likely to go up by the end of this year in the commercial zone, including a fast food restaurant.

Porter Regional Hospital CEO Stephen Lunn, who spoke at the groundbreaking Thursday, said the hospital, which replaced Porter Memorial Hospital in downtown Valparaiso, is getting ready to celebrate its 4th anniversary and “it’s been a long time coming to see the next big development.”

The hospital sees about 5,000 people per day and the developments in Porter Business Park “are going to be services that make it that much better for people,” Lunn said.

Kleihege said there will be sidewalks from the hospital property so workers and visitors can walk to get a bite to eat or something from a pharmacy.

Project Coordinator for Porter Business Park Patty Stovall said people can go to the website to follow the development. There are 68 developable acres and Stovall anticipates all the areas will be used.

“It’s going to be full, full. I have plans. We are going to continue to build this park. Build, build and build,” she said.


Posted 6/24/2016





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