(LaPorte, IN) - Its Cajun spaces have nothing to do with Popeye’s choosing to serve its popular brand of chicken and other food where a fire station in LaPorte now stands.
That’s because the fire station will be gone when replaced by the popular restaurant chain along a heavily developed stretch of Indiana 2 on the city’s east side.
The developer, M-Details, LLC, is asking the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals to loosen setback requirements for the building on a tight less than a half-acre parcel.
Bert Cook, executive director of the LaPorte Economic Advancement Partnership, expects the restaurant to start going up in the fall.
Pavey Excavating was recently awarded a $23,000 contract to tear down the fire station once vacated.
Cook said Popeye’s coming is particularly exciting for a community desiring more chain dining options “so they don’t have to travel to other communities to spend those dollars.”
LaPorte Fire Chief Andy Snyder said the move to the new much larger fire station on Daytona St. has already begun and should be completed by the weekend.
“If all goes well we’ll be operating out there by Friday evening,” he said.
The offer from Popeye’s had nothing to do with the fire station being replaced.
That decision was made last year because of cramped living conditions at the fire station built
in 1966 and challenges traffic posed to firefighters responding to calls as the residential and industrial area grew commercially.
In addition, Snyder said returning fire trucks because of the small plot had to pull forward into the busy intersection then back into the bays.
The building was also becoming a maintenance issue.
In June, the city council entered into an agreement to sell the property to the developer for $375,000.
Snyder said the new $1.9 million fire station on four acres is four times larger with room for things like in-house training.
There’s also enough space for adding more firefighters and trucks depending on future growth.
“It’s definitely a big upgrade from where we are at right now,” he said.