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NEW BUFFALO, MI-This lakeside township, a resort area frequented by Chicagoans and residents from northwest Indiana, will be getting another mixed-use hotel, residential and entertainment complex. Chicago-based UrbanStreet Properties, through an affiliate named R Development Group, has received preliminary approval from the township on plans for the $120 million Waterfront Resort and Conference Center. Construction could start on the project by next summer, township officials tell GlobeSt.com.

The plan is for a 280-unit hotel, 60 condominiums, a 55,000-sf indoor water park and a 30,000-sf convention center. The project will also include six acres of retail along US Highway 12, near Lakeside Road, and a separate residential area with 116 attached and unattached homes and 96 apartments. Employees of UrbanStreet did not return calls for comment.

The site is now 100 acres of farmland, says Township Clerk Rolland Oselka. Officials have been told that the completed complex would provide 400 jobs to the area. “We’re being cooperative, we feel this is something that’s needed in the area,” Oselka says. The community also is the new home of the Four Winds Casino Resort, which opened in April 2007. An AMTRAK train stop is also going up on the east side of town, at Whittaker Street and Oselka Drive.

Clerk Oselka says the developer is also working with the state to help fund the infrastructure that would be run to the state. “That won’t be decided for at least another 60 days,” he says. The plans for the project have cleared the Township Planning Commission, but not the Township Board of Trustees.

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