On Thursday afternoon, the Greater Portage Chamber of Commerce hosted business members of the community to come out for their quarterly luncheon for news, networking, food, giveaways and a very special presentation.
Drew Mitchell of Holladay Properties was there to present plans for their new project, The Promenade at Founders Square, which will be center to the future of the envisioned downtown area of Portage.
The luncheon saw businesses and organizations from all walks in attendance to listen to the update on the project that is already underway, and to hear about the potential opportunities it might provide. New members to the chamber were also given opportunities to speak about their businesses before the big presentation.
“It’s a great excuse to get out for a lunch and network and we like to get speakers who spread information to the community with guests like the mayor, Holladay Properties, the school system, and whoever else it might be,” said Chamber Executive Director, Nancy Simpson.
Asked specifically about Holladay’s presence at the luncheon as the headline speaker, Simpson was enthusiastic.
“There were questions coming in from the community about The Promenade project so we thought it would be good time to have them come around and talk with the business community about the project and what it entails as it progresses,” said Simpson. “We want to also entice businesses who might be interested to fill some of the spaces that will be opening up downtown with this building project.”
Drew Mitchell himself was very energetic about the chance to explain more in detail about the project, which has been in the planning stages for a couple years now, to the community.
“People are starved for information nowadays and it’s easy to get national news and a lot harder to get local sometimes. So, we want to educate the local business owners on the spaces that are going to be available. We want to share with those business owners what we’re all about and what the Promenade is all about and how it can benefit them,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell isn’t averse to being in the limelight and presenting ideas to an audience, having previously pitched on the ABC show Shark Tank.
One of Mitchell’s key points in explaining about the appeal for The Promenade was the need for more business and residential renting space was increasing number of younger people are buying homes later in life, and rentals are more appealing to both people coming out of college and "empty nesters" alike.
“There’s no quality places for many people in the community to rent, so they may end up moving to other communities and it is a loss for Portage. We want them to stay here. We absolutely need this development in this community,” said Mitchell.
Mitchell also cited the gap in housing stock of higher-end rental property near the downtown area. He emphasized that further development would be encouraged as the downtown area becomes activated and the population density there grows. In terms of what Holladay is bringing to the community, Mitchell is confident that Portage has a lot to gain from the construction of The Promenade.
“This project aligns really well with Portage’s goal to make a real downtown for people to work, live and play. We are absolutely betting on Portage and we feel comfortable investing our dollars in this community,” Mitchell said emphatically.
The Promenade will be designed to give the feel of a more natural construction rather than identical facades, featuring varied masonry and materials that will give the buildings a more unique look. This aesthetic was something that Mitchell stressed as Holladay looked around the Midwest inspiration for designs and styles to use for the construction. The streetscape is made to give Portage a downtown feel that has been missing, along with great views overlooking Founders Square Park.
Rents will be competitive at $795-$1,800 for apartments ranging from studios to three-bedroom apartments, and retail suites will be available, ranging from 1,200 to 3,500 square feet. Renters will have access to a pool and clubhouse, fitness area, pet spa, cyber café, electric vehicle charging stations, balconies for all units, and the first “fiber-to-unit” internet design in Northwest Indiana.
Currently Holladay Properties is aiming to have Buildings 1 & 2 open by next April, the Pool by next May, Buildings 3-5 by next July with Buildings 6-9 being ready in May of 2019.
For more information on The Promenade at Founders Square Park, click here.