The potential size and scope of the North Buffalo Street redevelopment project in Warsaw are slowly coming into focus.
The first phase of construction by Matthews LLC is well underway with construction of townhouses on the west side of the street. The soon-to-be three-story structure will stand out among surrounding buildings and will be one of several buildings in the development that will be of similar height.
Construction of more townhouses will depend on demand for the first phase and construction could continue for two or three years, according to Warsaw City Plan Director Jeremy Skinner.
While the design of the multi-use building near Center Lake has not been finalized, it could include two unique aspects.
Officials have confirmed that plans for an ice skating park are being considered as part of the multi-use building. Park officials had considered constructing a skate park close to Center Lake Pavilion but balked at the notion of overcrowding the lakefront with another building.
Meanwhile, David Anderson, a consultant with AcceLINX, which is related to OrthoWorx, told city council during a presentation July 22 that AcceLINX is working with “stakeholders” and the city about possibly having a presence in the Buffalo Street project.
AcceLINX is currently working as a virtual accelerator, said Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer, after the presentation, adding: “The need for some brick and mortar and co-working space is probably the next step.”
The overall Buffalo development will include a plaza along the lake that will feature a public art piece. Construction had been slated to begin this summer but has been delayed until next year.
The entire project relies on investment from Matthews, about $3.5 million in Regional Cities money and some financial support from the city.
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BABY BOX UPDATE — First off, let’s be clear: The two existing baby boxes recently installed in Warsaw and Syracuse ARE NOT YET OPERATIONAL! Organizers behind the project involving Safe Haven Baby Box, of Woodburn, are stressing the boxes are not ready and have been leery of any publicity about the boxes for fear somebody will try to use them before they are ready.
Both boxes were funded through private donations and support from Right To Life of North Central Indiana. Separate “blessing” of the box ceremonies at the fire stations in Syracuse and Warsaw will likely be conducted within a few weeks.
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HACKETT STRATEGY — Democrat Pat Hackett, gearing up for a second run to challenge 2nd District US Rep. Jackie Walorski, appears to be using social media to shore up early support before other Democrats steps forward. Hackett finished second to Mel Hall in the 2018 primary. Hall then lost to Walorski in the general election.
The South Bend attorney and professor is posting updates on her Facebook page and has a button that allows people to commit to supporting Hackett. It’s also a good way to target supporters financially.
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PRESIDENTIAL PRIMER — Twenty Democrat candidates running for president will participate in the second round of debates Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Tuesday night lineup includes: Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, author Marianne Williamson, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, and Montana Gov. Steve Bullock.
The second round on Wednesday will include: Former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, businessman Andrew Yang, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet.
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Dan Spalding is the editor of InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.