Future of Alick's lot to be decided

Map provided by Google A piece of land that used to home Alick's Home Medical will likely see its future decided on Tuesday, as the City of Elkhart Redevelopment Commission is expected to sell the land to either Portage Place Development LLC or the Elkhart Rowing Club. 

ELKHART — The future of a plot of land between the St. Joseph and Elkhart rivers, formerly the location of Alick’s Home Medical, is expected to be decided Tuesday.

Two groups, Portage Place Development LLC and the Elkhart Rowing Club, have made bids to the City of Elkhart Redevelopment Commission in order to buy the land in the 900 block of East Jackson Boulevard. Both offered $100,000.

At the commission’s May 14 meeting, both groups gave presentations arguing why Elkhart would benefit more under their plans.

Portage Place Development would build 21 high-end condominiums, which they argue would create property tax revenue for the city and keep or attract people with money to invest in the community.

The Elkhart Rowing Club would build a boat house and a park, offering public access to the St. Joseph River and a facility for a new crew club when Elkhart’s high schools merge.

As a non-profit, the rowing club would not pay property taxes. However, the group argues that bringing in people for events will generate sales for other local businesses.

The Redevelopment Commission allowed public comment at the May 14 meeting, many echoing the points made by Portage Place Development and the Elkhart Rowing Club.

Some asked why each group specifically needs the former Alick’s lot, as both apartments and a boat house could potentially be built elsewhere in Elkhart.

However, the unique location between the two rivers and near downtown seems to have both groups focusing on just this spot.

For the rowing club, calm waters upstream from but near the dam makes for a perfect place to put boats in the water, especially for beginners. For Portage Place Development, high-end homes need to be in a high-end location, and with the River District being revitalized, this project could fit in perfectly.

The Redevelopment Commission meeting is at 4 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chambers at Elkhart City Hall, 229 S. Second St.

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter @ReadRasmus

(8) comments


Good one Joe! Don't see any polo clubs either. Except on golf shirts. You certainly area a Joker!


Like the joining of the high schools, this was a done deal long before the public could influence it.... I can't believe so many are surprised about it??


Finally the city council got something right. If Mr. Shoff feels this rowing club is so imperative to the city of Earhart I think he should pony up and donate the empty lot next to his house. Not only would he get what he wants he could maintain it himself, that's serious sustainability.

Joe King

benefitting 21 people or an entire community.....I think its obvious.... the entire community, kids from the school system will get a chance to view and enjoy the river.... vs. private condos.... The housing crisis isn't for wealthy people...its for working people.....the condos fail on both ends.... All the guest and tourist that come to use and watch crew events will easily make up for property taxes..... besides, if property taxes were really that much of a concern, why do they keep handed out tax abatements' like candy.... I hope the commissioners and the RDC think about the community and the future and vote the rowing club,

Joe King

I can't believe they chose 21 people over an entire community and our school system. Typical, but not surprised..... keeping the "working" class from enjoying the upper st joe... vote them out!


So Joe. Just 1 more statement! I really can't follow your school system snip. Didn't the City go far enough for the school system by site prep for the huge indoor swimming hole the school might enjoy? Anyway! Follow me Joe. Let's take a trip! River access for canoes and kayak @ Beardsley by Burger King, access Greenleaf @ Kenmore, access @ NW corner of 6 Span Bridge, access @ NE corner of 6 Span Bridge, access @ SE side of 6 Span Bridge, access on Appollo Street in Bristol. Almost forgot the access @ Nibbyville. And really Joe.., how do you vote out the redevelopment commission. Typical! Isn't it?


Let's see! joe is off the beam AGAIN! 40 City parks. Many on 2 rivers! I see very few kids hanging at the river. One on a lake! I didn't know there was a crisis in housing for the wealthy. I do now many people of means would enjoy high end housing (condos), with the amenities they would offer. Look up tax "abatement" Joe. Abatements aren't in effect forever. They run out. Condos are taxed because they are privately owned homes. They pay taxes immediately. Skinny boat houses are tax exempt. NONTAXABLE Joe! But the City still must provide services. Sounds to me like skinny boats are a burden. And all those people flocking to the river, and eateries and other stores, the money they spend bypasses City coffers! I think you spelled that one word wrong in your first sentence. I think it's oblivious not obvious! So anyway...that's my last on the subject. I have NO MORE free access!

Joe King

How ma y rowing clubs do you see here? Oh yeah...zero... typical fire...narrow and short minded. Not thinking about the future....sad...

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