One down, dozens of businesses yet to come...
Publication date: 10/16/2005 – Source: The Times
By: DEBORAH LAVERTY, dlaverty@nwitimes.com
Article Title:  One Down, dozens of businesses yet to come ----
MERRILLVILLE: Ameriplex at the Crossroads in M'ville is on its way

This story ran on nwitimes.com on Sunday, October 16, 2005 12:13 AM CDT

MERRILLVILLE | Larry Mudd isn't one to rest on his laurels, even those valued at $25 million.

The day after celebrating the groundbreaking for a 60,000-square-foot full-service, physician-owned hospital at Ameriplex at the Crossroads, he already was working toward bringing future projects to the 300-acre commercial park.

The park could employ 3,000 people by the time it's built over the next decade, according to Purdue Research Foundation officials.

"We're on schedule, if not ahead. It's been a good first year," said Mudd, who serves as vice president of development for Holladay Properties.

He said future possibilities include high tech-related businesses from the Chicago area.

"We've definitely short-listed on two or three high-tech users. They're pretty interested," he said.

Plans also are in the works to construct a 70,000-square-foot building that would be used to accommodate distribution or advanced manufacturing, Mudd said.

"Through experience and the other parks we have developed, we know the first step is to get the infrastructure in. The days of buying a cornfield and putting in businesses is long gone," he said.

It was back in early February that Purdue Research Foundation officials -- owners of the property -- announced a $400 million joint venture between the Foundation and Holladay Properties to build a business and technology park at Broadway and 101st Avenue.

Ameriplex at the Crossroads, the commercial portion of the park, is anchored by the Purdue Technology Center of Northwest Indiana and the Purdue University Calumet Academic Learning Center.

Mudd said developers, although actively working to attract new construction to the park, also rely heavily on real estate brokers such as David Lasser of Commercial In-Sites in Hobart.

That was the case with the physicians who are planning to build Pinnacle Healthcare at the north end of the park between Connecticut and Georgia streets.

Plans are to open the hospital in spring 2007, according to Dr. Kirnjot Singh, president of the hospital board.

"Most of the time you're competing with a dozen sites. You hope to make the short list and be the selected site," Mudd said.

He said town officials, including the planning and building department, also have played a crucial role in the park's development.

"We've gotten two or three leads from the staff at the town departments. Someone comes in and is looking for a location. ... We have a unique product in the area. We'd like to think we can provide the best place in Northwest Indiana," he said.

Presently, the overall infrastructure is being completed including roads, sewers, water and other utilities, he said.

The project also includes plans for a community park with walking trails, ponds and landscaping.

There are also plans for an upscale 400,000-square foot shopping area on 30 acres that will be called the Galleria Research Park. It is being developed by Eon Properties of Schererville.

Holladay Properties, which was started in 1952, has also developed four other commercial parks including those in Portage, Indianapolis and South Bend.

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