US Highway 421 Corridor Plan
Kendig Keast Collaborative (KKC) was tasked with developing a redevelopment program for a four-mile segment of US Highway 421, an aging commercial corridor composed of a variety of retail franchises, including fast food restaurants, automotive and office supply stores, big-box retail enterprises, and a derelict, three-anchor mall. Objectives of the corridor plan included increasing the transportation function and safety of key thoroughfares within the Project Study Area; improve pedestrian accessibility; enhance the appearance of US Highway 421; and formulate an approach to redeveloping several multi-parcel portions of the corridor.
Through evaluating local/regional market research and LaPorte County tax assessment data, KKC identified five unique redevelopment areas with which to formulate a prototypical approach and redevelopment program that could be applied to other areas as appropriate. KKC’s program included 300 acres of redevelopment that included residential housing of varying densities, new retail infill development, manufacturing, distribution and warehousing facilities; professional office clusters, a regional sports complex, and a regional medical center.
To increase the efficiency of the 421 corridor’s transportation function and reduce congestion, KKC prepared an access management program which consisted of raised medians, eliminating multiple access points (curb cuts) while increasing access (to existing commercial property as well as currently undeveloped areas) through a network of frontage and rearage roads.
Additional strategies included expanding the City’s South Side TIF to incent redevelopment of the largely vacant Marquette Mall into a mixed-use town center that includes a new Main Street spine flanked with retail and residential infill development; and narrowing the lane widths of US Highway 421 in order to widen areas outside of the thoroughfare though within the right-of-way, to develop sidewalks, streetscape and landscape enhancements.