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...
A Strong Foundation to Grow the Future
The La Porte County Office of Economic Development takes a forward-looking approach to workforce and business development in northwest Indiana. And in 2017, our office successfully promoted our entire county to expanding businesses and growing industries. We joined forces with our partners across our communities to develop La Porte County into a desirable place to work, grow businesses and enhance the local economy. We have a bright outlook for the upcoming year based upon the strong foundation and reputation that La Porte County has recently established. It is my pleasure to share with you this recap of our office’s activities during the past year, and thank you for your continued support and partnership.
Michael B. Seitz, IOM
Mary Jane Thomas
La Porte County Office of Economic Development
A New Look
The La Porte County Office of Economic Development’s communication toolbox is stronger than ever since a new logo, brochure and website were developed in 2017. The office’s identity has a clean, modern flair and the website has a mobile-friendly, sleek design. One of the most popular features of the new website is a search function powered by the Indiana Office of Economic Development’s Zoom Prospector.
La Porte County enjoyed several infrastructure improvements and projects in 2017. 80-90% was funded by INDOT and 10-20% was funded locally, all in partnership with the LaPorte County Planner and Highway Departments.
Kingsbury Industrial Park
Kingsbury’s thousands of acres of industrial-zoned land has all utilities located on site. This is the current home
of 103 businesses and is an example of LaPorte County’s economic development potential. The site has now caught the attention of several companies because substantial enhancements and investments are now in the planning process.
Year in Review
The La Porte County Office of Economic Development networks regularly with County Commissioners, County Council, Greater La Porte Economic Development Corporation, Economic Development Corporation Michigan City, American Electric Power Company, NIPSCO, local businesses, industry leaders, developers, site selectors and prospects to further La Porte County’s economic success. The La Porte County Office of Economic Development is responsible for scheduling, holding and facilitating at the County’s Redevelopment Commission meetings.
The La Porte County Redevelopment Commission began planning the 421 TIF area expansions for future infrastructure improvements to support economic development within the corridor.
The La Porte County Office of Economic Development submitted 42 Zoom Prospector responses in 2017. These prospects included site selection, development, leases and land sales.
How do You See the Future of Northwest Indiana?
What industries should the Region court to diversify the economy? Should it focus more on revitalizing downtowns, redeveloping brownfield sites or both? Is it important to improve the perception of Northwest Indiana by outsiders or its own residents?
Your input will be used to craft a playbook on how to expand existing industries, recruit new businesses, develop the workforce, and attract and retain the talent employers need.
Join us Friday, April 27 for the State of the County Luncheon at Blue Chip Casino. County Commissioners Rich Mrozinski and Randy Novak will be featured during the program. La Porte County Office of Economic Development will have copies of the 2017 Annual Report available for all in attendance. Check-in begins at 11am. The buffet lunch and program will go from 11:20am to 1pm. Registration required for all attendees.
Blue Chip Casino
Blue Chip Orleans Room
777 Blue Chip Drive
Michigan City, IN