WARSAW — City planner Jeremy Skinner and David Matthews of Matthews, LLC presented plans for the redevelopment of Buffalo Street that will extend from Fort Wayne Street to Center Lake to the Northeast Regional Development Authority as part of the Road to One Million project.
Prior to the meeting, the board was given a tour of the development area. This redevelopment will better connect downtown Warsaw with the environmental resources of Center Lake and keep with a park feel.
The Warsaw Redevelopment Commission and Matthews Warsaw, LLC is requesting $3.5 million for the project.
The plan proposed will do-away with the homes and businesses currently lining Buffalo Street. Instead, a mixture of urban housing and mixed use buildings will be put in. The proposed housing design is being presented by Matthews, LLC. These homes will be a combination of mews, townhomes and city-homes ranging from 1100 to 7000 square feet. Matthews stated that all of the homes will be designed to be easily accessible and able to be rearranged to accommodate physical needs, including the availability of an elevator shaft and ramp access.
All of the proposed homes will be individually owned.
The plan also includes a large mixed use building as well as a plaza right on the lake. The plaza will include an interactive water feature and a public art piece. The goal is for the area to be functional day or night.
Following a 10 year plan, development is planned to start March of 2017 with the infrastructure of North Buffalo Street being reengineered as a foundation for the project and the residential portion started. The plaza and the start of phase I of the mixed use building is scheduled for 2018. Phase I of the mixed use building continues until 2020. Phase II will then take place over six years from 2021-2026.
Matthews stated that even with a 10 year plan, 60% of the overall project will be completed within the first four years. Matthews, LLC will be committed for $10.5 million.
Mayor Joe Thallemer spoke on the benefits of providing urban housing. “We know the urban design presented here today is the key desire of the professionals our industry seeks.”
Thallemer brought in Monica Kendrick of Zimmer-Biomet to provide public support of the project. Kendrick firmly believes the development will attract and retain employees for the area’s largest company.
Board member Jeffrey Turner, who is from DeKalb county, recognized the important role Warsaw’s orthopedic companies play in nearby counties. “What happens in Warsaw is important to all of us.”
Turner was uncomfortable with the current state of land ownership, with six or seven homeowners not yet signing over rights to their land. Matthews had earlier advised that he has spoken with all of the homeowners and none of them are against the city acquiring their land. Matthews had also advised that his plans allow for development around houses should current homeowners not give up their rights to the land.
Turner stated he wants the board to get more comfortable with the financials of the proposal.
The matter is under advisement. A public hearing will be announced later.
- Board approved application for the Manchester Early Learning Center for Road to One Million. The proposal will be sent to IDEC.
- Andy Boxberger presented on the Great Lakes Capital project ad sub-recipient agreement. The Board signed for $2.8 million to go into an Old National Bank account to be dispersed.
- Jeff Turner disqualified himself from the Great Lakes Capital project due to conflict of interest.
- Trine University project sub-recipient agreement approved.
- Embassy Theater project sub-recipient agreement approved.
- Additional construction documents requested from DeKalb County YMCA project.
- Little River Trails project approved by IDEC.
- Dec. 20th meeting moved to Dec. 13.
Next regular meeting is 2 p.m. Oct. 18.