Changes made to plan for Merrillville apartment complex - June 5, 2019

Courtesy of Chicago Tribune • June 5 05:00 am

Written by Rob Earnshaw

The Merrillville Plan Commission is expected to take action June 18 on a proposed apartment complex near 93rd Avenue and Broadway that will be geared toward young medical professionals.

About a dozen nearby residents attended a hearing Tuesday and expressed concerns about drainage and other issues. The residents, who experienced major flooding in the past, were concerned the project would cause it again, but appeared to be appeased after hearing plans from the developer to increase the size of an existing retention pond.

“A lot of us are concerned about flooding, and we believe the flood issue has been resolved,” said Liz Bushemi, a Broadfield resident.

Officials said after computer models were performed the pond will be expanded to increase the amount of water the pond can hold and offer more flood protection.

The developer, Saxon Partners LLC, plans to build four, 3-story apartment buildings, with a total of 275 1-bedroom and studio units, on almost 28 acres of vacant land at 9047 Connecticut St.
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The buildings would connect with one another and include amenities such as an exercise room, lounge and culinary arts room, as well as a deck in the wetland area and a walking path connecting the complex to Methodist Southlake Hospital and other nearby medical facilities.

Gary Warfel, of Saxon Partners, said a major reason they picked the site is because Broadway is becoming “a pretty substantial” health care corridor south of U.S. 30 down to Crown Point.

“As the health care community expands and grows in this area, we are going to cater to those individuals who will have the ability to walk or ride their bike to work,” he said.

Warfel said they also envision professionals from nearby NiSource deciding to reside there.

“We want to create a community here, not just an apartment project,” he said.

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Monthly rents for a one bedroom are expected to be around $1,200 and studios in the $1,050 to $1,100 range.

The commission will vote on a recommendation of the proposal to the Town Council. June 18.

In other news, 72 duplexes are proposed for the north side of 73rd Avenue, between Grant and Buchanan streets.

Plans for Savannah Cove were actually brought before the town in 2007 or 2008 but the downturn in the economy put the plans on the shelf.

Another developer has since taken over the project.
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Doug Rettig, of DVG Team Inc., the engineers for the project, said plans remain pretty much the same as they did 10 years ago.

Petitioners for Savannah Cove will return to the Plan Commission June 18 for tentative plat approval.