14 Feb 2017

Developers see South Shore extension as boon to area

South Shore News

MUNSTER — The developers who bought one of the town's last available multi-lot pieces of land believe they got a good deal on property that will only become more valuable. The 15 acres in the West Lake Estates neighborhood borders the CSX freight railroad — and, if things go according to plan, in five years the South Shore Line's West Lake Corridor. As area residents get the chance at two public forums this week to voice their opinions on development around the West Lake Corridor's stations, the developers of the property in West Lake Estates see the train as a bonus.

 "We think we got a very good price on the land," said Mark Reynolds, president of the investment firm Blackhall Corp., which bought the land for $780,000 from the School Town of Munster.

"The price had been discounted because of the uncertainty of what was going to happen with the train," Reynolds said. "I think there was a lot more fear than justified because of the railroad."

Blackhall is selling the 34 lots for $90,000 to $130,000. Three, including the largest and most expensive, have sold since the group closed on the property in December. They intend to put in roads and other infrastructure early this year. Then, purchasers can have "custom homes" built conforming to the neighborhood's covenants. Another Blackhall investor, Mihai Raicu, said Munster schools are among the main attractions, along with low property taxes, but commuter rail could make it more attractive, particularly to people who work in Chicago. The commuter rail line's last station stop is planned just south of the development on Main Street.

"It's walking distance to the train station, and yet they can't see the train station," Raicu said. "Anyone who's within driving distance of the station will benefit." They said houses on the lots should resemble others in West Lake, though on slightly larger lots, and have values of $450,000 to $600,000.

 Article by Andrew Steele - NWI Times. Click here to see the article on NWI Times.