(photo courtesy of Wane.com)

A developer is moving ahead with a $20 million project on a site overlooking the Wabash River that will become a northern Indiana city’s largest housing development in decades.

Wabash River Equites LCC recently started preliminary site work around 26 acres in Peru for the 174-unit development that will include traditional apartments, patio apartments, duplexes and a senior housing development.

Burke Richeson, an attorney for the company, said the duplexes will be located on prime property that runs by the Wabash River along Peru’s Riverwalk Trail. He said the developer hopes to begin construction this spring and have the project completed within 24 months.

During a Monday city council meeting, some residents expressed concerns that the new housing units would be too expensive for people in the city to afford, the Kokomo Tribune reported.

Jim Tidd, executive director of the Miami County Economic Development Authority, said the project’s goal is to attract people from outside Peru and Miami County to move to the city about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Indianapolis.

“We’re trying to increase our population and bring more people into the community rather than just shuffling people around through our current housing,” he said.

The city council voted unanimously Monday to approve a 20-year tax abatement for the project.

The housing will be located on land within a 40-acre (16.1-hectare) tract that the city purchased from railroad company CSX in 2017 for $250,000.