The Portage Redevelopment Commission is looking for proposals for the 43-acre site of the former Midwest Steel Supervisors club. This is one of the concepts the commission is offering developers to get their creative juices flowing. Provided image
The Portage Redevelopment Commission is looking for proposals for the 43-acre site of the former Midwest Steel Supervisors club. This is one of the concepts the commission is offering developers to get their creative juices flowing. Provided image
PORTAGE — The Portage Redevelopment Commission is looking for suggestions to develop the 43-acre site of the former Midwest Supervisors Club.

It has issued an official request for proposals for that site at Ind. 249 and Burns Parkway (Ameriplex Drive).

The Portage Yacht Club also sat on that site.

The city’s master plan calls for office space at that site, but the commission is open to alternative uses.

The site is near the South Shore Line and Burns Waterway, with easy access to Interstate 94 and Ind. 249. The Marquette Greenway trail runs along the south side of the site.

A few concepts have been put together in the commission’s request for proposals to get developers’ creative juices flowing.

Among the preferred uses for that area are an office campus, hotel and conference center, restaurants, marina and related facilities and office/flex buildings.

Other options, on a limited scale, include commercial or retail buildings, specialty retail, office/showroom for contractors or construction trades, warehouse, medical office or light industrial facility.

Listed as undesirable for that location are drive-through restaurants, gas stations, truck stops, distribution centers and residential.

The property is carved up into six blocks, with minimum bids of $72,500 to $90,000 per acre.

Redevelopment Director A.J. Monroe wants proposals by Jan. 27. The commission would review the proposals afterward.

Monroe reported to the commission that the contractor working on the Norfolk Southern bridge over Burns Waterway wants to use a portion of the Redevelopment Commission’s property on the west side of the open air pavilion there.

“They’re already doing it,” he said, before getting the commission’s approval.

“They apologized for moving a little too quickly.”

Monroe said he was disappointed the contractor, ICC, started using the land without approval. The contractor will make any necessary repairs if the property is damaged, he said.

The bridge project is a major effort, with a construction schedule of over a year. “They have discovered an unknown utility conflict” affecting their ability to drive pilings in the water, he said.

Mayor Sue Lynch asked if the project would block access to Indiana Dunes National Park’s Portage Lakefront Park and Riverwalk. Monroe assured her it won’t.

The commission also heard a proposal to refinance a series of bonds for the Fronius factory at Ameriplex. “We would save approximately $600,000,” consultant Karl Center, or about $50,000 a year.
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