Apartments, commercial space eyed for NewPorte Landing

July 26, 2018

La PORTE — The City of La Porte Redevelopment Commission unanimously agreed to sign a letter of intent to enter into a development agreement with Flaherty & Collins Properties at their monthly meeting Wednesday night.

The motion begins the process of developing two mixed-use buildings at Truesdell Avenue and Clear Lake Boulevard in NewPorte Landing that will house a total of 200 luxury apartments above 5,000 square feet of commercial space.

Chief Executive Officer David Flaherty and Vice President of Development Julie Collier delivered a presentation on the upcoming development. Based out of Indianapolis, Flaherty & Collins has nearly $2 billion currently under development throughout the nation and manages more than 115 properties and nearly 17,000 units nationwide.

“We are excited to work with the City of La Porte on this exciting project in NewPorte Landing,” said Collier.

Collier first came to La Porte when Beth Shrader, director of La Porte Community Development and Planning, invited her to La Porte to look at some historic downtown buildings. Throughout discussion, Collier and the company learned of NewPorte Landing and began considering development.

“You get people here and they fall in love with the sense of place La Porte already has. You have a lot of historic buildings, you have a nice downtown, you have a lot of other things going on,” Collier said.

State Rep. Jim Pressel, R-Rolling Prairie, was in attendance and focused on the economic concerns, asking questions regarding the impact of economic cycle risks and change in interest rates on the development. Flaherty responded positively, explaining they were more concerned with that in recent projects in Elkhart, because of the flux in their unemployment rate, and citing La Porte’s diverse economy as a plus.

“You’re not as dependent on one sector as what Elkhart would be, so we would have even less risk here, I think,” said Flaherty.

Mayor Mark Krentz, who has worked with the Redevelopment Commission since 2009 and NewPorte Landing for many years, thinks this deal is “fantastic” for the city.

“This is a home run for the city because these are top notch developers. Flaherty and Collins are well respected in their field. It’s going to be a bright focus in the city of La Porte, a wow factor that I’m really excited about. And it’s going to help with the additional development of NewPorte Landing,” said Krentz.

Primarily one and two bedroom apartments, with some studios, the rent is estimated to be between $900 and $1,500 for an apartment. The complex will feature amenities such as a heated saltwater pool, pet wash and bark park and soaking tubs, stainless steel appliances and stone countertops within the apartments.

As far as a timeline, Flaherty said work on the development could begin in December of this year. A goal of early 2021 is set for apartments and commercial space to be ready to lease.

In other news, the commission approved five change orders presented by City Engineer Nick Minich.

Minich said additional excavation of Clear Lake Boulevard is no longer needed and there is also no need for a retaining wall along the south side of the road from Detroit Street to Linwood Avenue.

Curb and pavement for a small section of what is now being used as temporary parking will be added. All together, the approved change orders resulted in an increase to the contract of about $10,000, for a new contract total of $82,783.75.

The North Madison project is well underway and both projects should be done in two to three weeks.

Minich said repairs on the Beechwood Clubhouse are nearing the end of the project and will hopefully be off the books by the next meeting.