Two Valpo businesses plan improvements
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent October 23, 2012 4:04PM
Updated: November 25, 2012 11:40AM
VALPARAISO — Two projects will do a bit of beautification of the city through the winter and into spring.
Fifth Third Bank downtown plans to make improvements to the outside of the 1968-era building downtown at 56 S. Washington St., and Family Concern Counseling plans to convert the house next door at 2006 Valparaiso St. into additional offices.
Both projects received positive responses from city officials at the Site Review Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The Fifth Third project includes new landscaping, patching the retaining wall next to Central Park Plaza, repaving the parking lot and putting a waterproof membrane on a concrete deck and ramp.
The business will also fix the scuppers on the roof — holes where stormwater flows out — and use steel reinforcement to shore up the building’s foundation, which is from about the 1920s.
“It’s a preventative procedure,” Mark Olson of M.E. Olson Construction said.
Olson and Fifth Third want to start this year and finish in spring.
Family Concern Counseling also wants to start work soon, gutting the house and rebuilding the walls inside to make a children’s counseling center, director David Bauer said.
However, the center needs to get permission from the Board of Zoning Appeals to have office space in a residential district, and Family Concern Counseling still needs to buy the house.
Bauer said he first wanted to see if the city would allow the business expansion.
The house is south of Albert Street, and improvements would include increasing the driveway between the current counseling center at 2004 Valparaiso and the new place, so it is shared between the two sites.
Family Concern Counseling would also extend the driveway behind the two houses, connecting to an Albert Street driveway.
The house has been unused since at least 2008 and needs some water system repairs as part of the inside improvements, Bauer said.
“It will be a winter project most likely,” he said.