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.
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