LAPORTE — No keys have been issued yet, but the developer of The Banks, which includes 200 upscale apartments in the city hopes to nearly double the number of units going up.
Flaherty & Collins Properties of Indianapolis plans to seek redevelopment tax credits from the state to help offset the cost of another 150 apartments the company is looking to build on the same property.
At the company’s request, the LaPorte City Council on Monday approved a letter of support for the tax credits sought from the Indiana Economic Development Corp.
The letter to the IEDC states additional apartments near Clear Lake at NewPorte Landing would further address a need for improvement in the quality of available housing to help retain and attract residents to the city.
According to the letter, the expansion also would add to the economic growth the first 200 apartments are expected to generate for NewPorte Landing and downtown.
Bert Cook, executive director of the LaPorte Economic Advancement Partnership, said the same tax credits were awarded by the IEDC in 2018 for the more than $30 million development, which is about 90% completed.
Cook said the possible expansion is in response to demand reflected in a long waiting list of applicants for the first 70 apartments expected to be made available for rent in February.
The Banks features granite countertops and stainless steel appliances and will be contained inside three buildings.
Other amenities include a swimming pool, fitness center and bicycle storage for residents.
Cook said the proposed expansion hinges on the developer acquiring the tax credits and other approvals by the city in a process new construction plans must follow to be gain approval, he said.
“This is the very first step in a number of steps in order to consider a project like this,” he said.
Among the final hurdles to jump would be majority support from the city’s Plan Commission and City Council.
Another 200 apartments would put Mayor Tom Dermody closer to achieving his goal of growing the city’s long stagnant population from 23,000 to 30,000 by 2030.
“We’ve said from day one we need housing of affordable type, high end type and everything in between,” said he said.
NewPorte Landing was once home to Allis Chalmers from the early 1900s until the factory closed in 1983.
Dermody said more than 80,000 tons of contamination was removed from the property during an environmental clean-up spanning six different mayors.
A slight majority of the 50 acres has been redeveloped.
Stores like Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks along with Dunes Volleyball Club and Northwest Health Urgent Care are at the site. An Aldi grocery store is presently going up on the property. “To be able to turn that into something positive is amazing,” Dermody said.