Coffee Creek, a new urban neighborhood in Chesterton,
ROBERT STEUTEVILLE    MAR. 1, 2002
Coffee Creek, a new urban neighborhood in Chesterton, Indiana, is beginning to gather some construction momentum, nearly four years after the project broke ground. The 640-acre development now has two apartment buildings complete and more underway. A health care center and a hotel have been completed. Single-family residential is slow to gather steam — only four model homes have been built around a neighborhood green to date. Permitting and inexperience in New Urbanism on the part of the builders which have purchased lots are to blame, according to Kevin Warren with Lake Erie Land Company, the developer. Moreover, Lake Erie has had trouble finding town center retail tenants who are willing to build in a new urban form, as well. The developer could have sold out to a big box retailer, but that would have meant giving up the idea of building a town — and Lake Erie has been unwilling to do so, Warren says. “Things have been moving slower than we expected, but not drastically slower,” Warren adds. “We’re not that far off from where we hoped to be at this point.” One question mark for the coming year is the economy in northern Indiana, which is heavily dependent on the steel industry, and suffering.