ELKHART - The Elkhart City Council has approved an economic development loan to support a $34 million mixed-use neighborhood center, which involves renovation of the existing Easy Shopping Center South. Developer Great Lakes Capital has proposed to build a new Martin’s Supermarket and 154 residential units that will connect Jackson Boulevard to the Elkhart River.

This will be a major step forward for the much-anticipated project, announced last summer.

“The foundation of the River District Revitalization Plan outlines three anchor projects, which include the Elkhart Health and Aquatics Center, the Flaherty & Collins housing development, and the Great Lakes Capital project,” Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese said in a news release. “Combined, these projects represent $135 million in total investment and help to create the type of urban, walkable environment needed to grow and sustain our population.”

Council members approved two separate loans, totaling more than $8 million. This includes public financing of approximately $4.6 million, which will be repaid at a three percent interest rate using the property tax revenues generated by the new development. The city will also act as a local investor, contributing an approximately $3.8 million direct loan, which will be repaid by the developer at a four percent interest rate.

Construction is expected to run in two to three phases and take about 18 months to complete.

For more information about the project, click here.