MERRILLVILLE — The Merrillville Town Council supports new tax increment financing district boundaries that would surround White Lodging's property at U.S. 30 and Broadway.

The council also has taken an initial step in the possible sale of town-owned land for an athletic development.

The council has joined the Redevelopment Commission and Plan Commission in approving resolutions associated with the TIF boundaries around the former Radisson Hotel, Star Plaza Theatre and the Twin Towers property. The matter heads back to the Redevelopment Commission for final approval, Councilman Shawn Pettit said. It hasn't been determined when that will happen, but it could be in coming weeks.

Establishing the new TIF area creates an economic tool Merrillville can use to assist with development at the White Lodging property.

That could involve using increment collected to complete infrastructure work associated with a project there, town officials said.

White Lodging has created plans for The Farm at Crossroad Commons project, a $350 million multi-use development proposed for the site.

Pettit is expected to eventually meet with White Lodging representatives to discuss the status of the project, which would feature a variety of amenities, including a meeting and events center as well as hotels, and restaurants.

The council also took action advancing the possible sale of a portion of town-owned property in the 6600 block of Broadway for a private volleyball club.

The town engineer has been authorized to identify up to 4 acres of the more than 30 acres of property Merrillville owns there. After that is done, Town Attorney Joseph Svetanoff can advertise for bids for the parcel of land.

Pettit said a private volleyball club contacted Merrillville officials about purchasing land there to construct a multi-purpose gym.

The Broadway site is designated for a new town community center. Although the volleyball club would be private, it would have a connection to the community center.

Latest plans for the town's recreation facility call for it to be nearly 106,000 square feet.

Councilwoman Roxanne LaMarca, who opposes the sale of up to 4 acres of land, said the Broadway property wasn't purchased so the municipality could turn around and sell a portion of it.

“We purchased it for the town,” LaMarca said.

She believes the development of a volleyball club at the site would prevent Merrillville from expanding the community center.

It hasn't been determined if an expansion would be needed. Pettit said there is room for growth if the town sells a piece of its land on Broadway.

Supporters of the volleyball club proposal have said the club is willing to invest between $3 million and $4 million in the construction of the club's new facility. That building could produce about $85,000 annually in property taxes if it’s built.

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