Westfield council OKs $2.5M to make way for mixed-use project

May 12, 2014
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The city of Westfield will help Westfield High School replace its aging football stadium, making way for a $40 million commercial development at U.S. 31 and State Road 32.

City Council members heard from a half-dozen ardent supporters during a public hearing Monday night, but most already had decided to approve the $2.5 million contribution. The measure passed 7-0.

Westfield-Washington Schools had asked for the financial boost to accelerate construction of a stadium behind the high school, allowing the district to sell the high-profile parcel to a local development team with a grand vision.

As IBJ reported Friday, Westfield Community Investors is working on plans for a mixed-use “life wellness” project on 14 acres northeast of the intersection, now home to the district’s athletic fields and administrative offices.

The stakes are high, given the property’s location at a key gateway to downtown.

The developer expects The Junction to include a multi-story medical office building, a hotel with meeting space, an indoor family entertainment center—think laser tag and mini golf—and some restaurant and retail space, partner Randy Zentz told the council.

A future phase could include an “independent senior living product,” he said.

Council President Jim Ake said the $2.5 million would come from proceeds of the city’s water utility sale, and the money would be repaid through property taxes the commercial development will generate. School-owned land is not taxed.

And the project could serve as a catalyst for additional development, he said.

“I don’t know of a better win-win situation than this,” he said before the public hearing.

No one spoke against the proposal, and Councilor Steve Hoover said only one of the 300 or so emails he received on the subject was negative.

Councilor Rob Stokes said he would support the contribution as long as it was understood—and made official during the rezoning process—that the city would not offer any additional incentives for the project, and that the property owners and tenants must be tax-paying, for-profit entities.

 “One of the principle reasons we’re looking at this is the tax base incentive,” he said.

Mayor Andy Cook praised the council’s willingness to work with the school district to determine what’s best for the community.

“It shows, with cooperation, what government entities can do,” he said.

The Westfield Chamber of Commerce board also supported the proposal.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. I'm a CPA who works with a wide range of companies (through my firm K.B.Parrish & Co.); however, we work with quite a few car dealerships, so I'm fairly interested in Fatwin (mentioned in the article). Does anyone have much information on that, or a link to such information? Thanks.

  2. Historically high long-term unemployment, unprecedented labor market slack and the loss of human capital should not be accepted as "the economy at work [and] what is supposed to happen" and is certainly not raising wages in Indiana. See Chicago Fed Reserve: goo.gl/IJ4JhQ Also, here's our research on Work Sharing and our support testimony at yesterday's hearing: goo.gl/NhC9W4

  3. I am always curious why teachers don't believe in accountability. It's the only profession in the world that things they are better than everyone else. It's really a shame.

  4. It's not often in Indiana that people from both major political parties and from both labor and business groups come together to endorse a proposal. I really think this is going to help create a more flexible labor force, which is what businesses claim to need, while also reducing outright layoffs, and mitigating the impact of salary/wage reductions, both of which have been highlighted as important issues affecting Hoosier workers. Like many other public policies, I'm sure that this one will, over time, be tweaked and changed as needed to meet Indiana's needs. But when you have such broad agreement, why not give this a try?

  5. I could not agree more with Ben's statement. Every time I look at my unemployment insurance rate, "irritated" hardly describes my sentiment. We are talking about a surplus of funds, and possibly refunding that, why, so we can say we did it and get a notch in our political belt? This is real money, to real companies, large and small. The impact is felt across the board; in the spending of the company, the hiring (or lack thereof due to higher insurance costs), as well as in the personal spending of the owners of a smaller company.

ADVERTISEMENT