By Ed Ernstes (email@example.com)
6:47 PM EDT, October 9, 2012
ELKHART – It’s being called one of the biggest development projects in Elkhart in a long time.
Developers want to build an upscale shopping center near the intersection of County Road 6 and Cassopolis Street.
The $13 million project called “Shoppes on Six” would be a mix of stores, retail shops and restaurants.
The proposal was outlined Tuesday at Elkhart City Hall.
The Weston Plaza Hotel used to sit there but was demolished several years ago.
“The shopping center will consist of approximately 115,000 square feet of first-class retail restaurant space,” said Ashlee Boyd of the Thompson Thrift Development Company.
The key to make it happen is to secure 3 anchor stores – T.J. Maxx, Shoe Carnival and PetSmart.
“We have a number of other retailers that we are in discussion with, said Boyd. “However, it is critical on the front end that we get the anchors in line, identified and know who those anchor tenants are going to be.”
The city’s part in the project would be to help with infrastructure and financial assistance with TIF money.
Part of the project would also include a separate effort by owners of the nearby Encore Cinema to build a new 13-screen theatre that could be combined in the overall project.
Now based on what they have learned about this project on Tuesday, the city feels it has the potential to be one of the largest retail developments Elkhart has seen in quite some time and could prove an economic boost on a number of levels.
“The construction jobs that would be involved, the retail jobs that would be involved afterwards, the property tax that would be generated from this, it seems like a win-win for everyone at this point,” said City Economic Development Director Barkley Garrett.
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