First tenants coming soon for Valpo’s University Promenade
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent October 16, 2012 4:38PM
A number of businesses new and old brought plans to the Site Review Committee on Tuesday, a record number of developments for this year.
Karim Khatib intends to put in a Mediterranean restaurant called Shish Kabob at 200 Billings St. across from the Valparaiso City Utilities building.
The building previously held a Hispanic grocery and Aurelio’s Pizza before that.
“What we’re after is healthy food for everybody,” Khatib’s food safety expert Fadi Elnajami said.
The Site Review Committee wanted some improvements, including a grease trap, before the city would OK a permit.
Khatib said he used to own Jerusalem restaurant in Chicago and hopes to get this one started before Christmas.
A lightning strike on Aug. 4 may have forced Doelling Decorating Center out of its building of 50 years, but that will be temporary.
Paul Doelling intends to raze the 12,000-square-foot building, which was the results of many additions, and replace it with a 7,200-square-foot building made of three suites, one 64 feet wide and the others 32 feet wide.
He said he might rent one out.
Doelling reopened the business at 1152 March St. off U.S, 30 on Oct. 1 and hopes to begin construction on the new building before winter to move in by June.
The lightning damage on the original building doesn’t look bad from outside, but it is inside, he said.
Workers should start the 800-square-foot extension for the Family Express at Burlington Beach Road and Calumet Avenue this month.
An addition to the parking lot should go in next spring, based on plans attorney Todd Etzler presented to the Site Review Committee Tuesday.
Etzler said it would provide space for employees to park away from customer parking, and the addition is for a bigger beverage station.
Another nail salon will soon go in next to the Jimmy John’s restaurant near Valparaiso University.
Leon Huynh presented plans for Top Nails & Spa, 1608 Lincolnway, and the Site Review Committee had few suggestions for changes to the plans.
He hopes to open by mid-November.
Updated: November 18, 2012 6:47AM
VALPARAISO — About three years since planning began, the first building of University Promenade will be completed by December and has a business tenant going in.
Construction will also begin this month on the second three-story building that will flank University Drive, this one on the west side.
The first floor of the east side building will house primarily medical businesses, said developer Al Krygier of Schererville after the Site Review Committee meeting on Tuesday. Krygier presented plans for a 3,156-square-foot office space for a Valparaiso medical research business on the south side of that building, and Krygier Co. has been talking to other medical businesses.
But the 28 condominiums above those have gotten more than 100 inquiries online.
“We’re not as concerned about the residential as the commercial,” he said.
The Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission awarded his company the property in July 2009 for $510,000.
“The reason it’s been a while is we were searching for tenants, and the economy (was slow),” Krygier said.
His company has a letter of intent from another medical business and has been talking with others, and the company plans to lease condos for occupancy when the building gets finished in December. They will have two or three bedrooms per unit.
The other building will be similar but have restaurants and other businesses on the first floor. Krygier Co. will put the foundations for that in the next few weeks, and it should be ready by mid-summer.
Although Krygier competed with the developer of nearby Uptown East apartments, EastGate Investments I, he went in a different direction for design. His buildings aren’t designed for students, but they are designed to match the campus.
Krygier kept them at three stories instead of going four or asking for a zoning variance for five, like Uptown East.
“It just fits what’s going on at the entrance of the campus,” he said.