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Proposed warehouses near I-65 in Crown Point draw opposition from Waterside Crossing residents

Venture One's plan for two warehouses east of I-65 in Crown Point
Screenshot From The City Of Crown Point Facebook Video
Venture One's plan for two warehouses east of I-65 in Crown Point

Some Crown Point residents don't want to see warehouses pop up next to their subdivision.

Venture One Real Estate is looking to build two one-million-square-foot buildings along the east side of I-65, south of 101st Avenue. Co-Founder & Principal Mark Goode says it's a good location, and his development fits with the city's overall plan for the area.

"It's right on I-65," Goode told the city council Monday. "We have access to the north on Mississippi to Route 30. It's our primary access. Most of the trucks here, from our traffic study, will go north on Mississippi to Route 30 and get on I-65, going up to I-80."

But residents of Waterside Crossing — many of whom said they moved there to try to get away from industry — worry that the warehouses would bring more traffic to a neighborhood with children.

Stacy Lulich was concerned about pollution and crime. "We moved from Dyer to here because Dyer was getting so overpopulated, so ridiculous," Lulich told council members. "And now it's happening here, and we don't have the funds to move where we want."

Goode promised to work with the local community. That may include building a berm around the warehouses, adding a fence to buffer sound, possibly installing a stoplight at 101st and Mississippi, and looping existing water lines to improve fire safety.

"We like Crown Point," Goode said. "We will not have heavy manufacturing here. Our zoning doesn't allow for that. So this will be light. It'll be warehousing and possibly assembly."

He also argued that the buildings themselves would buffer noise from I-65.

One controversial aspect is the potential extension of Mississippi from 101st to 109th. It's a goal in Crown Point's comprehensive plan, but Goode said it isn't needed for his development.

"If it were to go through at some point, we would work with the city engineers and our engineers to design it in such a way that there would be some sort of a 90-degree angle that trucks couldn't make with big bollards," Goode said.

Resident Daniel Bajda worried about the impact on property values. "Because I don't see anything going into Ellendale, all these big ritzy subdivisions," Bajda said. "It's us, blue-collar getting screwed over again."

But attorney Jim Wieser, representing Venture One, argued that those concerns aren't actual evidence that property values would be affected.

A request to rezone the property from agricultural to business park development will be up for a final vote at the May 6 council meeting, after council members approved a first reading of the ordinance by a vote of five-to-two. A motion to delay the process by a month to allow for more discussions failed by a vote of four-to-three.

Council members also approved a resolution to create a separate TIF district for the Venture One property and the one to the south. That request now goes back to the redevelopment commission for a public hearing and final approval.