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Schererville OKs financing for Shops on Main development

Updated: April 12, 2013 6:05AM



SCHERERVILLE — The Shops on Main lifestyle center planned for the corner of Main Street and U.S. 41 passed its biggest test during a Wednesday night joint meeting among the town’s Economic Development Commission, Redevelopment Commission and Town Council.

The three entities each unanimously passed the financing mechanisms that will provide $19 million of the approximately $100 million it will take developer Bruce Boyer to construct Shops on Main. The town agreed in September to enter into a partnership with Boyer and Regency Development to put money toward the project.

The Economic Development Commission, which last convened in February 2008 and needed to re-elect its officers prior to voting, was tasked with approving two sets of bonds — one set worth $17.5 million and the second worth $1.5 million. The Redevelopment Commission, meanwhile, voted to approve adding to the project money collected from the Kennedy Avenue tax-increment financing district, which would include the center, town attorney Dave Austgen said.

The TIF money primarily would be generated by Shops on Main, Austgen said. It also will be rolled together with a $5.5 million TIF bond issued in 2005 if the Indiana Bond Bank allows it, a refinancing that would save the town a lot of money, though the amount has yet to be determined.

The Town Council then approved both actions based on a recent change in state law.

The first set of bonds will go toward the project’s first phase, Austgen said, which comprises at least five of the buildings, including an anchor building that will have five stores between 10,000 square feet and 50,000 square feet and will be finished during phase one of the project. The development’s parking, road improvements to U.S. 41 and Main Street and the development’s utilities will be completed as well.

Council President Rob Guetzloff thanked the council, town staff and Boyer and his team for never giving up, even when Boyer walked away from a meeting that produced nothing last summer.

“I remember that meeting: Bruce walked away with no deal,” Austgen said. “Then he came back with a team, and when they came back, it was a herd.”

Boyer said because of other commitments the first phase should be completed by the first quarter of 2014.

“We’re there,” he said. “It’s been a long process, but we’ve gone over a big hurdle tonight.”

If the Plan Commission approves the secondary plat at its March 25 meeting, Boyer said he can break ground as early as April.

The council also approved a zoning change on the property to a C-3 Shops on Main designation from C-3 Highway in a separate action.



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