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Warsaw looks to expand central economic development area

May 4th, 2017

Dy David Sloane for the Times-Union | Indiana Economic Digest

With the Warsaw Redevelopment Commission’s approval of a resolution Monday, the process to expand the boundaries of the Central Economic Development Area has started.

The expansion plan must also have a public hearing and approval from the Warsaw Plan Commission and City Council before coming back to the Redevelopment Commission for a final public hearing and approval.

City Planner Jeremy Skinner said the resolution approved by the Redevelopment Commission Monday just designates and declares an interest in moving forward with the expansion. The final hearing will be on the declaratory resolution, which will create the expansion.

During the March 7 Redevelopment Commission meeting, the board heard a request from Jose Espinoza, who operates the Redwood Firewood Bar & Grill, 937 N. Detroit St., to expand the Central EDA to include his business. 

The purpose of Espinoza’s request was so that he could apply for a new liquor license from the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission. To qualify for a new license, the Espinoza property must be located in an economic development area and in a designated riverfront district. Upon final approval of the expansion, Espinoza intends to request an expansion of the existing Warsaw Riverfront Development District.

City Planner Jeremy Skinner said Monday, “As we looked at it, there was a couple of things that we looked at. One, this was kind of a target area of the Imagine Warsaw when we did that back in 2010. And it’s also one of the target areas that we’re considering for a potential project downtown, so we want it to be kind of all-inclusive when we made this expansion, not only representing what Steve Snyder was looking to have added, but also what the city project-wise has looked at over the last five or six years, where we’re going and what we’d like to accomplish within this area.”

The expansion will take in Ind. 15 north and south from Fort Wayne Street to Gilliam Drive, east to the railroad tracks and west to include Center Lake and much of the central business distreict.

“We’re going to focus on projects that have merit for us, that are in our best interest as a community,” he later said. Skinner said no revenue for the city will be generated from the expansion, unless a project comes into the area.

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