Mayor Uran's Downtown East Side Development

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Mayor Uran's Downtown East Side Development

Postby bull dog » Wed Jun 11, 2008 12:34 am

C.P. eyes study for new city complex
BY KATHLEEN QUILLIGAN
Kathleen.Quilligan@nwitimes.com
219.662.5331 | Wednesday, June 11, 2008

CROWN POINT | If a private partnership matches the city dollar for dollar, Crown Point will pay $50,000 for a feasibility study for a proposed city project that includes a new city hall, underground parking garage, housing and retail stores.

At a meeting of the city's Redevelopment Commission on Monday night, Mayor David Uran outlined his idea for the new complex that would stretch along East Street from Robinson Court to Joliet Street. He said a few local developers, whom he declined to identify, were forming their own LLC partnership to help the city with the project and would also commit $50,000 to the study.

Uran said the partnership would make the project a private-to-public partnership and would lessen the burden on taxpayers.

"They want to be good corporate neighbors," he said. "We want to create a new history for downtown."

Uran said the city hasn't chosen a company yet to complete the feasibility study but has been approached by some companies to do the work. He said the city would like the project to stay as local as possible.

As part of the project and to create synergy among the downtown and other developing areas, Uran outlined a proposal to create trolley stops throughout the city, with the main hub in the new complex.

The commission approved $8,000 for the development of architectural plans of a trolley stop created by Crown Point-based IN Architects & Planners Inc. President Tarik El-Naggar said the one-time fee would allow the city to distribute the plans to any developer who would like to build a trolley stop on his or her property to connect to other stops and downtown.

El-Naggar showed a rendering of the stop that took aspects of the historic courthouse and used them in the trolley stop. Each stop would consist of two piers holding up a roof with a clock. He said each stop could be built between $40,000 and $60,000 and would have a button for calling the trolley or emergency services.

While Crown Point currently has a trolley, it is only used for city events or if it's been rented by residents. Uran said the trolley would run at designated times so people would begin to use the service.

"We already have a trolley," Uran said."This would put it to more use."

In other business, the commission unanimously approved a $7,000 contribution to a downtown square beautification project that involves cleaning the square's sidewalks and replacing the current yellow light bulbs with clear ones to make the square more inviting.

The city is paying for one-third of the $20,000 total for the project. City Chief of Staff Keith Stevens said he was in talks with two other entities to pay the remaining two-thirds.
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