FORT WAYNE – The Allen County commissioners gave the final nod Friday to Dupont Corner, a $7 million, 10-tenant strip mall at the southeast corner of Diebold and East Dupont roads, near Parkview Regional Medical Center.
The Allen County Plan Commission had unanimously recommended that the commissioners change the 40 1/2 -acre site from multiple-planned manufactured housing and planned limited commercial use to a neighborhood shopping center designation.
There had been no public opposition to the rezoning, said Michelle Wood, senior planner for the Department of Planning Services.
Diebold would have to be improved in the near future because the area is experiencing heavy traffic that is increasing as development continues, Wood said.
Don Steininger, developer of the plaza, agreed.
Steininger met recently with the county highway department and the commissioners about the needed road improvements, he said.
The county agreed to do a traffic impact study at Steininger’s expense. Based on the study’s findings, the county would then complete the engineering and property acquisition necessary for road improvements from Diebold Road to North Clinton Street, Steininger said.
The plaza will have three access drives – one from Dupont Road and two from Diebold. One of the entrances on Diebold will be the main access point, while the other two will be limited, allowing only a right turn in or right turn out, Wood said.
The commissioners were unanimously in favor of the rezoning.
Crews will begin moving dirt and excavating at the site in October, Steininger said. Utilities will be installed this winter, while the streets and landscaping will be completed next summer.
Construction on the shopping center would begin after the infrastructure is in place. The shopping center is expected to be open for business in 2015, he said.
Although there are no tenants to date, Steininger is confident he will have no trouble finding storefronts after construction begins.
The plaza includes a 200,000-square-foot anchor or big-box store.
I’ve had some good leads (on the anchor store), but nothing firm, Steininger said.
I’m sure they will wait and see what it looks like this spring. Right now it’s just a lot of dirt.