Elkhart Downtown Development

Elkhart's downtown area could be getting some "big" new business.

On Monday, two developers will go before the city's redevelopment commission with plans to make major changes to a now-vacant lot.

The plans are designed for the city's civic plaza, off Main Street between Franklin and High Streets.

Gateway Builders is proposing a project called Waterfall Terrace. It would have five buildings for businesses, restaurants, offices, apartments, and possibly a hotel.

Another plan comes from Columbus developer Herman Renfro. He's already built a hotel in West Lafayette and wants to build another one.

“I believe they intend to build two buildings first and then finish up with three more,” says Bill Lavery, president of Elkhart’s downtown development commission.

Pharmacist Hass Hakim is ready to make changes to his business if other big businesses move in next door.

“This downtown is going to change from a 9 to 5 to a 9 to midnight downtown one of these days with all the things going on,” Hakim says.

The property was home to the Midway Motor Lodge until it was torn down.

“Really since then the whole idea has been to redevelop that block and in the years past we've had a few proposals but nothing really panned out for one reason or another,” says Lavery.

But recently with the new I.U. Elkhart building, more downtown development funding, and a new streetscape things could finally be changing!

“I think one of these two might pan out because there is just a really good buzz right now really good feel things are happening downtown,” says Lavery.

Monday afternoon both plans will be presented in a public meeting.

A decision by the redevelopment commission on whether or not to accept either of these of proposals will be made later in February.

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