A Grand Development: Dalton proposes $200 million-plus project for downtown Westfield
By Anna Skinner
City council members heard the introductory plans for the Grand Millennium Center at the Dec. 12 meeting. Birch Dalton, owner of EdgeRock Development based in Westfield, presented a proposal to the council detailing the $200 million-plus development that was introduced to the public at the State of the City in November.
The project spans 64 acres to the southeast of U.S. 31 and Ind. 32. It proposes a possible 250,000-square-foot corporate headquarters with plans to expand an additional 100,000 square feet, a 20,000-25,000-square-foot urban grocery/bank/pharmacy development, a 100,000-125,000-square-foot YMCA not counting square footage of an Olympic-sized pool, which also is included, a 130,000-square-foot convention center, three hotels with 400 rooms and a high quality, high density housing development that could include townhomes, condos or apartments.
“The 31 Corridor from 465 to (Ind.) 38, the drive time has gone away. There’s no lights, and with all the amenities we have, we have more trails, we have more restaurants, and if you add in the convention center, YMCA and hotels, this is definitely a corporate site,” Dalton said.
Since the original announcement last month, Dalton said multiple, well-known developers have contacted him in hopes to be considered for the project.
With the convention center and the tentative corporate headquarters with plans to bring 1,000-1,200 jobs to Westfield, Dalton said the three hotels span across three separate ranges such as a full service, high-end hotel, a middle- to high-grade hotel and a limited service hotel. The price point for the three separate hotels would range from $79-$200 a night. There also are plans for a 150,000-square-foot Civic center that could house city services, township services, the public library and more. With the development would come the extension of Westfield Boulevard running parallel to U.S. 31 from Ind. 32 to 169th Street.
Dalton said the look of the development will be very modern, with lots of metal and glass. He plans to break the project up into five to seven sub-developments, as the buildout is expected to take three to five years. The architects for the project are Cooler Design and Beyond Architect.
“Cooler Design in a strategic alliance with Beyond Architecture is the Master Architect for EdgeRock Development for this 64-acre site. Our buildings are deliberately colorful in the natural Westfield landscape,” President William Cooler stated in an email to Current. “They are designed to maximize clear glazing to provide the occupants with as much natural light as possible. We believe the designs should be modern to reflect what is possible in architecture and technology today. … One important goal of our team is to make sure the site is exciting at a pedestrian level, as the structures will be linked back to Westfield’s trail ways and to one other. We believe architecture, art, and landscape design can reinforce a sense of place and help make it a memorable and exciting destination.”
The proposal is currently moving through the council and Advisory Plan Commission, but Dalton said that if all goes as planned, the corporate headquarters would break ground in the spring followed by a two-year buildout.
Grand Millennium’s Convention Center vs. Grand Park Events Center
EdgeRock Development’s Owner Birch Dalton said he believes the proposed Grand Millennium’s Convention Center would not compete with Grand Park’s new events center, but complement it.
“The convention center is more of a meeting space, it’s a different demise. People can have big meetings and break into smaller groups,” Dalton said. “I think it complements the events center. I think as we market this and get (users who need) 300,000 (square feet), we will send them up to the events center. Likewise, if the events center gets a request for (a space for a) 5,000 square feet meeting space, they will send it down here. They do big exhibits and big shows, and we wouldn’t do that. We are more meetings and trade associations groups.”