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Distribution center, other development proposed for New Haven

Would occupy site of rejected Flying J plaza

Friday, November 9, 2012 - 9:15 am

A distribution center and other commercial development is planned for a New Haven intersection eyed by a controversial and ultimately unsuccessful travel plaza project several years ago.

The tenants, size of the investment and the number of potential jobs remain closely guarded secrets, however.

RDC National Inc., a Wisconsin real estate commercial developer, has asked the New Haven Plan Commission to approve the project on 65 acres near Indiana 930 and Minnich Road -- part of which included the 17-acre site that would have become the Flying J travel plaza had the city not rejected the proposal in 2007 as incompatible with its long-range development plan.

RDC apparently is only the developer, however. New Haven Planning Director Brian Yoh, Mayor Terry McDonald, county economic development officials and representatives of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance said they do not know which company or companies would locate there.

Although McDonald is pleased that development may at last come to the site, he said he is concerned by the trend of projects filed by third-party developers that shield the identities tenants. “We’ve been burned in the past. It’s very complicated,” said McDonald, who added that he has no reason to doubt the value of this project.

Project representative Dave Nelson said he could not reveal details. RDC is also asking the Commission to rezone about half the site from general commercial to light industrial. The Commission will consider the project at a 7 p.m. public hearing on Nov. 20 in City Hall, 815 Lincoln Highway E.

Despite its earlier setback, Flying J never gave up on New Haven. Purchased in 2009 by Tennessee-based Pilot Travel Centers, a Flying J plaza will open this month at U.S. 30 and Doyle Road.