To expand retail and restaurant opportunities on Elkhart’s north side, city leaders started thinking outside the box. The 16-acre former Westin Plaza hotel site is located at the intersection of two major commercial corridors and was ready for redevelopment. The result was a $3 million public investment incentivized with the new property tax dollars that would be generated by the new Shoppes on Six shopping center.
Tax increment financing dollars were leveraged in the form of a bond, which will be paid with the tax revenue generated at the site. Traffic improvements were made as part of the development, encouraging better flow of vehicles near the city’s busiest intersection, C.R. 6 at Cassopolis Street.
Three national businesses, Shoe Carnival, PetSmart and Ross Dress for Less, committed as anchor tenants immediately for the 115,000 square feet of new retail. The development complements other shopping and dining opportunities in the Cassopolis Street TIF, which gets fed traffic by the Indiana Toll Road interchange at Exit 92.
"The city … obviously knew the benefit," said Ryan Menard, vice president of Indianapolis-based Thompson Thrift, at the grand opening in October 2015. "I think of this project, for the city, they've been great to work with in helping get this project off the ground."