Retail taking shape near Westfield sports park

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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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