by Stan Maddux | Times Correspondent
LAPORTE — Construction of 200 resort-type living units next to Clear Lake is scheduled to begin next month.
The $35 million project is viewed by local officials as a major catch for bringing more residents with high disposable incomes into the city and bolstering economic activity downtown.
The one- and two-bedroom rental units would fill three floors above the ground level, which would contain businesses that like coffee shops and other retail, according to the developer, Flaherty & Collins Properties of Indianapolis.
Monthly rent will range from $900 to $1,500.
Bert Cook, executive director of the LaPorte Economic Advancement Partnership, said young professionals and older adults looking for such housing can look here now instead of Valparaiso, Chesterton and other surrounding communities.
Once here, the younger tenants could decide to stay in LaPorte once they’re ready to become homeowners, he said.
Cook said the development could also help retain high school graduates who after getting their college degrees go elsewhere due to a lack of housing choices locally.
‘’What we’re trying to do with a project like this is give those people a reason to come back to LaPorte,’’ Cook said.
According to the developers, the units within the New Porte Landing redevelopment area will be in two buildings containing 17,000 square feet at Hoelocker Drive and Truesdell Avenue just north of downtown.
The apartments will feature granite countertops, tile backsplashes and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen. In addition, there will be an outdoor courtyard with a swimming pool, wet deck and other amenities like a fire pit and grilling station.
Other planned features include a fitness center, space for bicycle storage and repair along with a pet wash and bark park, according to the developers.
The several hundred anticipated new residents will also be able to take advantage of new amenities at Clear Lake, including Chessie Trail, a bicycle path along the shoreline and other connections about to materialize for easier travel to and from New Porte Landing and downtown.
The firm manages over 115 other properties containing 18,000 luxury housing units worth about $3 billion.
New Porte Landing is where Allis Chalmers operated for about a half century before leaving in the 1980s.
Flaherty & Collins Properties received state tax credits to help offset the cost of its investment.
Cook said the ongoing environmental clean-up of the brownfield site approved by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management is entering its final stage.
Construction will start with site preparation for the buildings, which should begin going up in the spring and be completed in the third quarter of 2021, Cook said.