Busy corridor will be focus of upcoming study
Posted: 05/20/2012 at 1:15 am
By: Angelle Barbazon
Jim Skillen, vice president of the county redevelopment commission, described the area near Old U.S. 20 and Ash Road as a “deteriorated neighborhood.” But, he said, a new study could point the county in the right direction.
The Elkhart County Council approved $14,800 to pay for a review of the corridor that opens up into St. Joseph County. The study will build upon a land use report commissioned several years ago that painted a bright picture of the area’s future. It described potential for a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with a downtown feel.
Skillen explained that the new study, headed by consultant Wightman Petrie, would allow the county to move forward with putting those plans into action. He said the county would engage nearby residents and business owners to find out what they would like to see done with the neighborhood.
“That’s why we’re doing this study,” councilman David Foutz agreed. “To tap into the community and find out the best way to go.”
The results, Skillen said, will be analyzed to determine the next step in redevelopment of the land in the Northwest Gateway Tax Increment Financing District.
“We have the money, we have the plan and we want to make this possible,” Skillen said.