CROWN POINT — With the recent opening of the Summit Street extension, Beacon Hill development officials say construction is moving forward and attracting the attention of national restaurant and hotel chains to Crown Point.

During Monday’s Redevelopment Commission meeting, Jeff Ban, of DVG Inc., project managers for the city's Beacon Hill commercial development, said “a number of interested parties are looking at things” including hotel operations for the area. The goal is to have a hotel on contract within the next 30 days with construction starting by mid-summer.

Beacon Hill commercial development, located between the northwest corner of 109th Avenue and Delaware Parkway and the southeast corner of Broadway and Summit Street, has already attracted some businesses to the area including Lakeshore Bone & Joint Institute.

The orthopedic group purchased 12 acres and plans to open a two-story, 42,000-square-foot multipurpose, multidisciplinary facility that will offer orthopedic urgent care.

Additionally, officials are looking to secure tenants for a three-story office building.

“The idea is by the end of the year, we will have construction started on three major components: the office building, hotel and Lakeshore Bone & Joint. That totals about $40 million of assessed valuation,” Ban said.

Crown Point Mayor David Uran said the Beacon Hill development is expected to bring in $100 million to the city.

"All the things that we have been working on over the last 10 years and the (business) relationships are starting to come here because we are telling our compelling story," Uran said during his Tuesday open forum session with residents.

The December ribbon cutting for the opening of the first phase of the Summit Street extension east of Broadway was an exciting first step for the Beacon Hill development project, Ban said.

The Broadway and Summit had always been a three-way intersection. The $1.1 million extension included signal modification, utility extensions, roadway improvements and made it a four-way intersection.

Construction on the short section of road started in August 2017 and was completed last year. It was originally delayed four months to allow construction of buildings in the Beacon Hill development to be completed and for NIPSCO to complete the installation of gas and electric service to the area.

Ban told the commission about 80 percent of the Delaware Parkway south phase was built last summer into fall and construction will finish in the spring to begin building the intersection along 109th Avenue.

Traffic light expected at 109th, Delaware by June

“By early June, we will have a traffic signal at Delaware Parkway and 109th Avenue where there is not one now,” Ban said.

With the recent opening of Chipotle at 10715 Broadway in Crown Point, Ban said inquiries by national restaurant chains have been coming in looking to locate on 109th Avenue.

“What’s good about getting out of our town is looking to see what others see, how they are looking at us and how others compare to us. We think we are growing fast, and we are, but we’re not growing as fast as a lot of other places where there’s a lot of activity,” Ban said.

“We’re getting there in our population. The 30,000 people will help not just Beacon Hill but all the other commercial areas of growth in the community.”

The Crown Point Redevelopment Commission is partnering with the city for the infrastructure improvements in the Beacon Hill area.

"The commercial development along these corridors will provide a strong economic stimulus to the Region and positively impact many sectors of our economy," said Commission President Andrew Kyres. 

The commission discussed the status of the 109th Avenue widening through to the Interstate 65 interchange during the meeting.

Currently, Ban said the city is working with the Indiana Department of Transportation to modify the traffic control on the on- and off-ramps of either the east or west side to “create more capacity for traffic while avoiding heavy backups.”

“During peak periods, you’re seeing traffic backing up on 109th Avenue because of that traffic signal and you’re seeing traffic backup onto I-65 on the southbound side,” he said. “They’re looking at ways to improve the circulation for greater capacity.”

The city and 1-65 Beacon Hill Partners are partnering to fund a $25.5 million bond issue for the 109th improvements as well as extensions of Summit and Delaware Parkway.

In a previous interview with The Times, Uran said a federal Highway Safety Improvement Project for the intersection of 109th and Broadway as far east as the Smith Ditch bridge will be done in 2019. The extension of Delaware Parkway north to 107th Avenue will also be completed as part of the preparation for the 109th widening.

By the end of 2020, Uran said 109th will be complete east of the interchange to Iowa Street.

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