WESTFIELD, Ind (WISH) – A cornfield in Westfield is about to be transformed into a “Grand Millennium Project.”
On Monday, Westfield City Council approved plans to build a convention center, hotel, office space, housing, and YMCA on a 64-acre space near U.S. 31, and State Road 32.
“It’ll be good to live around it,” Westfield resident, Michael Walters said. “I have a wife that likes shopping, as well, so that’ll also be good.”
Walters moved into his Westfield home two weeks ago. Soon, his block will welcome the multi-use center into the backyard.
“It’s excitement because I just bought the house and obviously, want property value to go up,” Walters said.
Not everyone on the street is excited. “It’s massive, and this is a very small area,” Westfield resident, Chris Dotson said.
After living on same road as Walters for 30 years, Dotson said her quiet block won’t be the same.
“Not terribly pleased about it. It is a big project,” Dotson said. “Sort of speak, you can’t fight city hall, and it’s something that was a foregone conclusion.”
The idea didn’t come out of nowhere. The city worked with EdgeRock Development for nearly a year, and held public meetings.
Westfield Mayor Andy Cook said the $200 million project will transform the area, and add 1,000 jobs. “I think it’s a huge announcement for us because it really ties in the effects of Grand Park with the effects of our Grand Junction downtown, and it puts all that together,” Mayor Cook said.
It’s a project Mayor Cook said came together because U.S. 31 was completed a year ago, and the project is financed with private money. “This is really one of the first projects that’s utilizing the new freeway to its fullest extent,” Mayor Cook said.
It’s a project that could jumpstart development along the freeway, which proponents admit could win them over in the long run.
“This will be a nice home for someone with small children eventually,” Dotson said. “To have a YMCA in their backyard, it’s just not something I wanted in mine.”
The YMCA isn’t a done deal. The developer is donating the space to the agency, but it’s still working out the details.
The developer will start work this summer. The goal is to have it finished within four years.