Past Projects

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Sign Grants 

In 2017, Valparaiso’s Redevelopment Commission started the Sign Grant program, which reimburses Calumet Avenue establishments up to $15,000 for replacing pole signs with new signage. This program is intended to beautify Calumet Avenue, incentive local business owners and organizations to further invest in our community, and achieve compliance with current zoning standards. To apply for a Sign Grant, a business or organization located along Calumet Avenue must submit two quotes from signage companies for the demolition of their current pole sign and the cost of a replacement conforming sign. The Commission will consider the cost of two quotes and may choose to award a Sign Grant to the applicant. Grant recipients will be reimbursed for the first $10,000 in expenditures and half of the next $10,000 in expenditures, with a maximum reimbursement of $15,000.  The Commission may also choose to reimburse additional funds on a case-by-case basis. The Sign Grant policy can be found here, and the 2018 application can be found here

smoochie pooch

Valpo Velocity Bike Share

In late 2016, plans began within the Redevelopment Commission to launch the first bike share program in Northwest Indiana, though bike share provider, Zagster. Following collaboration with the Valpo Parks Department and Valparaiso University, the Redevelopment Commission launched Valpo Velocity in April 2017, starting the program with 25 bikes, one accessible trike, and eight bike racks throughout the city.  The app-based bike share program costs riders just $2 an hour, and rides under an hour are free for Valpo Velocity members. Annual memberships are $30, student annual memberships are $20, and monthly memberships are $10. 

Document

This project was a partnership with Valparaiso University and was supported with 2017 Sponsorship from Urschel Labs. A map of station locations can be found here and a presentation about how to use Valpo Velocity/Zagster bikes can be found here. You can sign up on the Zagster website, or download the Zagster app. The bikes are put into hibernation for winter months and are restored in the spring. The project as a whole was transferred to the Parks department on January 1st 2018. A presentation about membership and other updates can be found here.

Garmong

Industrial Parks Development

 

In October 2015, the RDC partnered with Garmong Construction to begin development of a "shell building" with the hopes of attracting larger companies to the area. The Garmong building sits on 8 acres of land and is 80,000 square ft. It is designed to fit a variety of industries including light industrial, manufacturing, general, medical and warehouse/distribution. There is also a 10 year tax abatement in place for the site. The building was completed in 2017. A brochure about the Garmong building can be found here. Contact: Patrick Lyp

ValpoNet Fiber Infrastructure

In 2014, it was discovered that a lack of diverse fiber connectivity in Valparaiso kept local businesses from expanding and made relocation challenging for businesses with high bandwidth requirements. Based on this discovery, the City of Valparaiso decided to invest in the installation of a vendor-neutral, dark fiber infrastructure through the construction of ValpoNet.  Installation of this dark fiber network will provide ample cost effective fiber connectivity throughout Valparaiso. By providing high speed, secure connections for local businesses, the Redevelopment Commission hopes to attract more businesses to the area, and retain businesses with growing connectivity needs. To discover more about this project, you can visit the ValpoNet website here. The ValpoNet network went live on May 14, 2018. Contact: Patrick Lyp

ValpoNet Fiber Infrastructure

                                                               Central Park Plaza

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In 2010, the Redevelopment Commission purchased a underused parking lot in downtown Valparaiso with plans to redevelop the area into a public park. Phase I of this construction included the creation of Porter Health Amphitheater, a splash pad, and park area. Following Phase I completion in 2011, the William E. Urschel Pavilion and Bill Costas Family Plaza were constructed, completing Central Park Plaza. This $8 Million project was funded primarily through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) and donations to the Valparaiso Parks Foundation. Since its development, Central Park Plaza has become a central attraction for residents and visitors alike, with concerts, farmers markets, and ice skating all taking place in this community gathering space. You can view a presentation about the Central Park Plaza here.

Facade Improvements

In 2007, the Redevelopment Commission began a series of facade improvements for businesses in Valparaiso which ended in 2016.The Valparaiso Façade Improvement Program was intended to beautify Valparaiso by offering incentives to businesses to refurbish their exteriors, both in the front as well as rear pedestrian entrances. The grants, which capped at $25,000, were provided to businesses to help reimburse them for facade improvements. Businesses had to meet certain requirements to be eligible for these grants. A few businesses that received RDC grants include Ironwood Brewery, The Porter County Museum Foundation and the Best Western hotel. While this project is no longer funded by the RDC, the City offers a similar program, details of which can be found here. The Commission replaced Facade Improvement Grants with Sign Grants. Learn more about Sign Grants under our Current Projects Tab.


Smith Ready Mix after Facade Grant 2017

                                                                      East Gate

University Promenade After

In 2004, development began along Lincolnway between Roosevelt Road and Sturdy Road. Dubbed "Eastgate" the purpose of this project was to beautify the eastern gateway to Valparaiso’s downtown while redeveloping a main entrance to Valparaiso University. To complete this project, the Redevelopment Commission funded business relocation, streetscape renovation, and provided incentives for developers to build appropriate mixed-use facilities on the south side of Lincolnway. Because of these efforts, Eastgate is now home to University Promenade and Uptown East, which are mixed use buildings with first floor retail, and upper-level apartments. Since redevelopment, the area has  become a popular spot for Valparaiso University students and Valparaiso residents. 


Valparaiso Roundabouts 

In 2004, the City of Valparaiso began plans to build a roundabout near Valparaiso University on Sturdy and Lincolnway. Completed in 2008, it was the first of six publicly financed roundabouts in the city, and the first roundabout on an INDOT state route.  80% of the project was funded by federal grants with the Redevelopment Commission providing the remaining 20% of funding.  The Redevelopment Commission has contributed 20% of funding for every public roundabout project in Valparaiso, which has enabled Valparaiso to have the most roundabouts in Northwest Indiana. A seventh roundabout will be constructed along Silhavy and LaPorte Avenue within the next four years.


after roundabout

Roundabouts help reduce the number and the severity of accidents while giving pedestrians a safe place to cross. The roundabouts in Valparaiso have also cut down on carbon emissions from cars, as motorists do not have to idle for the length of time required by a traditional stoplight.  You can view a presentation about Valparaiso’s roundabouts here, or a video on how to safely drive a two lane roundabout here.

                                                                County Seat

Cumberland Crossing

Around 2005, the Redevelopment Commission began to redevelop part of North Calumet Ave. near a shopping mall known as "County Seat". The mall, which had moved into the location in the 1970s, had been steadily declining, was experiencing frequent vacancies, and was beginning to fall into disrepair. 

As a result, the Redevelopment Commission purchased the property, relocated surrounding businesses, and demolished buildings. The Commission then began to beautify the area by providing more modern landscaping, creating Cumberland Crossing, Cumberland Road, and the Cumberland Roundabout. This project was primarily funded by tax increment financing (TIF). Following these improvements, Urschel Development Corporation purchased part of the land to further develop the new Cumberland Crossing shopping center. 

Since this redevelopment project was completed, Cumberland Crossing has become home to the Valparaiso YMCA and the Cumberland loop has become the central location for the Valparaiso Art Walk.

Vale Park

In 2005, the Redevelopment Commission began to address the "missing link" between Valparaiso Street and Campbell Road. At the time, Vale Park Road did not extend between the two roads and significantly lengthened travel times. Cutting through unused marshland, the new road also added to Valparaiso’s bike trail system by creating a one and a half mile trail from Calumet Rd to Campbell Rd. Another addition to this bike trail, the Vale Park West Pathway, further extended the trail to two miles. The Vale Park West Pathway extension won the 2016 Outstanding Trail Project Award from The Greenways Foundation of Indiana. There are plans to further extend this path in upcoming years. This project was largely funded by Tax Increment Financing (TIF). 

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