Retail taking shape near Westfield sports park

November 22, 2013
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Construction is expected to begin this spring on the first retail building in Grand Park Village, the commercial hub planned for just south of Westfield’s massive youth-sports megaplex.

The two-story, 34,000-square-foot multi-tenant building will be located at the southeast corner of 186th Street and a yet-to-be-built extension of Grand Park Boulevard, Mayor Andy Cook said Thursday during his annual State of the City update.

“This is not a ‘maybe.’ … Demand is far enough along that they want to build it now,” he said, touting early interest in the city’s $45 million work-in-progress Grand Park Sports Campus. “This is the private sector making an investment on private land.”

The retail center will overlook a 15-acre lake that local developer Steve Henke wants to line with restaurants and shops to serve the million-plus visitors expected to flock to Grand Park each year.

Play is scheduled to begin in March. Cook said 5,000 games are set for the 26 baseball/softball diamonds already; the 31 multi-use fields are expected to accommodate 7,000 matches—including soccer, rugby, lacrosse and football.

Henke Development has sold nine properties in Grand Park Village, the mayor said, and has another three purchase agreements on the table. Plans call for 1,000 attached housing units, plus plenty of office and commercial space.

Cook didn’t spill the beans on likely tenants, but he assured his audience at the Westfield Chamber of Commerce luncheon that property owners would pay their own way.

“Don’t ask me for a tax abatement in this area,” the mayor said, citing the city’s investment in the sports park.

Crews from the Indiana Department of Transportation are expected to dig most of Grand Park Village’s central lake this winter in exchange for the dirt they need to build new overpasses and interchanges on nearby U.S. 31.

Several businesses were forced to relocate because of the highway project, but they're already reappearing. McDonald's and Dairy Queen are slated to join Taco Bell at its new location on Tournament Trail, just north of State Road 32 at Wheeler Road, which leads into Grand Park.

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  • Moving on
    I just moved to Westfield a couple years ago and I am so excited to see all the development taking shape. While some will complain that it takes away the 'country' feel of the place - I think it is great the tax base is expanding and more opportunities for jobs are being built. While the construction on 31 will be difficult, the finished product will ease traffic and make the commute even better. I've already had 3 lights removed and I'm looking forward to all of them going away. One question I had - is the DQ going to be a net new, or is the DQ on Rangeline Rd closing?
    • Westfield Does ROCK
      I agree with the above comment. I too think it is great to see the development going on here in Westfield. Yes, the 31 construction can be a bit of a pain to get around, but what it's doing for the city may mean that our children will come back to work and raise families here after college. I am thrilled with the progress. I don't know the fate of the DQ on Rangeline but I would be surprised to find out that it is closing. I think this one looks like it will be right off of 32 close to what will be the new 31/32 interchange. I think it will be far enough away from Rangeline to justify having both both. This is going to be much needed retail on the north/east side of Westfield. How exciting!
    • Growth
      It is good that the Mayor finally realized that tax abatements in a large TIF district is bad. There's some already in it. This growth around Grand Park will be in a TIF, which in the current arraignment does not help the schools, library or other taxing districts. Growth is good! We have a $45 million debt to pay. I hear restaurant and retail jobs pay pretty good! $8 a hour?
    • gas station
      I'm hoping this area includes a gas station. With 3 torn down or closed due to the construction and the others too small to handle the volume (or now much harder to get to), getting your car filled up is a huge production now, especially on the west side.

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    1. I am not by any means judging whether this is a good or bad project. It's pretty simple, the developers are not showing a hardship or need for this economic incentive. It is a vacant field, the easiest for development, and the developer already has the money to invest $26 million for construction. If they can afford that, they can afford to pay property taxes just like the rest of the residents do. As well, an average of $15/hour is an absolute joke in terms of economic development. Get in high paying jobs and maybe there's a different story. But that's the problem with this ask, it is speculative and users are just not known.

    2. Shouldn't this be a museum

    3. I don't have a problem with higher taxes, since it is obvious that our city is not adequately funded. And Ballard doesn't want to admit it, but he has increased taxes indirectly by 1) selling assets and spending the money, 2) letting now private entities increase user fees which were previously capped, 3) by spending reserves, and 4) by heavy dependence on TIFs. At the end, these are all indirect tax increases since someone will eventually have to pay for them. It's mathematics. You put property tax caps ("tax cut"), but you don't cut expenditures (justifiably so), so you increase taxes indirectly.

    4. Marijuana is the safest natural drug grown. Addiction is never physical. Marijuana health benefits are far more reaching then synthesized drugs. Abbott, Lilly, and the thousands of others create poisons and label them as medication. There is no current manufactured drug on the market that does not pose immediate and long term threat to the human anatomy. Certainly the potency of marijuana has increased by hybrids and growing techniques. However, Alcohol has been proven to destroy more families, relationships, cause more deaths and injuries in addition to the damage done to the body. Many confrontations such as domestic violence and other crimes can be attributed to alcohol. The criminal activities and injustices that surround marijuana exists because it is illegal in much of the world. If legalized throughout the world you would see a dramatic decrease in such activities and a savings to many countries for legal prosecutions, incarceration etc in regards to marijuana. It indeed can create wealth for the government by collecting taxes, creating jobs, etc.... I personally do not partake. I do hope it is legalized throughout the world.

    5. Build the resevoir. If built this will provide jobs and a reason to visit Anderson. The city needs to do something to differentiate itself from other cities in the area. Kudos to people with vision that are backing this project.

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