$24 million Westville warehouse project gets LaPorte County support; up to 125 jobs projected

LAPORTE — The proposed $24 million renovation of a 680,000-square-foot vacant food warehouse just outside Westville has cleared its second-to-last hurdle.

The LaPorte County Council on Monday gave final approval to a five-year tax abatement on improvements to the dry and cold storage facility along U.S. 421.

“I think it’s a fantastic thing,” said Randy Novak, president of the LaPorte County Council of the project being spurred by NorthPoint Development.

Angela Harshbarger, an incentive specialist with NorthPoint, said approval of the tax abatement allows the Kansas City, Missouri-based company to proceed toward closing on purchase of the structure, which was last occupied in 2016.

The hope is to begin work on the former SpartanNash food distribution center by mid-November, Harshbarger said. She said completion is targeted for early June.

NorthPoint Development bills itself as the nation’s second largest private landlord with 170 tenants, including General Motors, and $5 billion worth of real estate investments since 2012.

A tenant has not been lined up yet, but the company projects 125 jobs paying $15 to $20 an hour at the facility.

The goal is to have a food distribution operation committed to moving in before or shortly after the renovation is finished, according to company officials.

Harshbarger said the structure is on 90 acres and its complex refrigeration system remains in excellent shape…

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