A major Topeka RV manufacturer is preparing to break ground on its corporate office building, even as work moves ahead on its production facility in Topeka.
CrossRoads RV had its site plan for a two-story office building approved at a special LaGrange County Plan Commission meeting Monday afternoon. The site plan had been tabled at the commission’s meeting on July 17, when no representative from the company or contractor was present.
The building will be located on W. Lake St. and will include a drive on the west side of the property to allow better entry into the new production facility located to the north.
The commission had some questions about landscaping along Lake Street, where there is currently a raised berm with trees. It was noted that some trees may be removed to allow better visibility of the building. A sign was also discussed, although it was not shown on the site plan. The commission asked for a complete landscaping plan and sign plan be submitted, as well.
The commission was asked by Bill Eberhard, attorney for the Town of Topeka, to find that the project is consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan, so that the town could move ahead with making that part of a TIF district. In a TIF district, a portion of the increased tax from improvements is captured by the town or county, to be used toward infrastructure projects in that district.
Eberhard told the commission that it was discovered that the parcel of land that CrossRoads is building on is not actually in the town or the town’s TIF district.
Topeka, though, is looking to help the project by putting $100,000 toward the project for the driveway that runs to the production facility. Eberhard noted that the driveway is important as it will allow for better traffic flow to and from the site.
Plan commission member Rex Pranger questioned if the town was too late to start the process to make the land part of a TIF. “You’re almost after the fact, unless you ask them to wait,” Pranger said.
“This is a project that the town is really behind,” Eberhard stated. “We want to do our best to make it happen.”
Lora Tornamen from the LaGrange County Economic Development Corporation addressed the commission, noting that CrossRoads RV is one of the biggest manufacturers in the area, and that CrossRoads “chose to come to Topeka with their headquarters” instead of looking elsewhere.
The commission passed a motion to find that the project and request for the TIF is consistent with the county’s comprehensive plan.