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Seven firms express interest in redevelopment of old Lafayette golf course

When the Lafayette Park Board voted in January to close the municipal golf course, there were no future plans for the site. Now, seven firms have come forward to show interest in making the property an asset to the Greater Lafayette area. The Wabash River Enhancement Corporation board received potential project plans Thursday morning.

Executive Director Stan Lambert says the companies are well known and have done quality work with other developments. However, he thinks working with a riverfront project is unique.

“With rivers, they are a very dynamic resource and not just any firm can successfully plan and complete a project in and along a riverfront,” he says. “So, it’s very important they have experience.”

Lambert notes this is just the first step in seeing what could be done with the site. He says whatever is decided in the future must keep within the mission of the organization.

“We need the input of the community in this project.”

NICHES and the local chapter of the Audubon Society have already contacted Lambert about the property.

“We’ll be looking to have some stakeholder smaller meetings, some larger public meetings,” Lambert says.

The 100 year flood zone will limit large physical structures on the land, but he thinks what’s done at the golf course site will facilitate the development of the North 9th Street corridor.

Wabash River Enhancement Corporation board members expect to take most of the summer to review the seven firms’ ideas.

Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, who serves as the board’s president, says there’s no set timeline for actually developing the old golf course, citing the need for public input, research and finding the right developer.

“I don’t feel this huge sense of urgency to somehow push through this process quickly,” he says.

The board is not required to go with any of the proposals offered by the firms that responded to the Request for Qualifications.

“You’re not locked into doing anything with any of these firms,” corporation legal counsel Dave Luhman told board members. “This gives you an idea of who’s out there that thinks they can provide you some services.”

Five of the firms are Indianapolis-based, one is from Mishawaka and the other is a Philadelphia company.

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