By Leah Sander
WARSAW — Work on a nearly $18 million residential development in Warsaw has officially begun.
On Friday, April 30, a groundbreaking was held for Gateway Grove, a housing community being constructed at the site of the former Madison Elementary School and Gateway Education Center at 201 N. Union St.
The development will include 72 townhomes and single-family homes, a shared green space, a park with a playground, community fire pits, a dog park and a recreation center. For renderings of the project, click here.
The Groninger Group, run by Cary Groninger, is the developer. His company, G&G Hauling & Excavating Inc., is working on the site along with T.L. Jackson Construction Inc.
Representatives from the companies gathered Friday with local and state government leaders and Kosciusko Chamber of Commerce representatives.
Groninger spoke before the ground-breaking as did T.L. Jackson CEO Brad Jackson and Warsaw Mayor Joe Thallemer.
“In total, this could be nearly an $18 million dollar investment in this downtown area for the city,” pointed out Groninger.
“This started about a year ago,” he said of the process. “Actually it was my daughter Leigh’s idea. We’d seen a neighborhood close to this up in northern Michigan. (She said) ‘Dad, you need to do this in Warsaw.'”
Groninger noted three generations of his family attended the ground-breaking, including his father, Tom Groninger, daughter, Leigh Groninger and niece, Rilee Groninger.
“It’s really going to be a cool community that’s going to create kind of a community within the town that we’re able to interact with our neighbor … everything else that we can do to kind of create that active outdoor lifestyle that I think so many of our young people are calling for,” he said.
“Our tagline is close to nature, close to town, close to home, you know you can have all of those things within walking distance, which I think is really cool,” he said.
Jackson said he was honored to have his company participate in the project. He described the types of homes, all of which are named after trees.
The Aspen is a 1,230-square-foot townhome and The Sycamore is a 1,320-square-foot townhome. The townhomes’ starting price is $259,900.
Single-family homes start at $299,000. They include The Willow, consisting of 1,450 square feet and The Maple at 1,760 square feet.
He was also joined by family members who work at T.L. Jackson: his brother, Bruce Jackson; son Sam Jackson; and nephews Ben Jackson and Luke Jackson.
Thallemer noted how quickly the project was progressing, stating that the first house should be ready in September.
“This gives you a really good idea of how quick private enterprise can work compared to when government tries to do something it usually takes a lot longer,” he said.
“I can’t stress enough having people that live and work and govern and play and worship in our community doing this project, creating a brand-new neighborhood in a somewhat historical area,” he said. “I’m thrilled.”
Cary Groninger and Brad Jackson are both Kosciusko County commissioners.