• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Small-town fire department protects big territory around Grabill

Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 12:01 am

Grabill, a generally quiet, primarily Amish community about 15 minutes northeast of Fort Wayne, has a lot going on.

The small town is roughly centered between Springfield Center Road on the north and Antwerp Road on the south. It is generally bounded by Roth and Page roads on the east and west, respectively.

“Right now, we are blessed with experiencing some good growth here. We have an industrial park we have been working on developing. It is located on the east side of town and is drawing a lot of interest,” said Jeff Smead, vice president of the Grabill Town Council.

There is currently one major business in the industrial park, Graber & Graber, 13864 Sawmill Road, he said.

Graber & Graber is a concrete company, specializing in high-tech Laser Screed concrete floors.

Smead said the park has some great sites available. It's in the town's tax increment financing district, so the town can offer incentives to prospective businesses along with water and power sources, said Smead, who has been vice president of the town council for 10 years.

He said the park has some great industrial sites that are expected to bring in mainly manufacturing business, he said.

Besides building an industrial park designed to attract manufacturing companies and other industries, Grabill is rebuilding one of its streets.

“We are undergoing some infrastructure changes on Second Street. Through a federal grant, we are in the process of putting in an all-new street,” Smead said.

“When the project is completed, there will be a new street with curbing, a new storm sewer and an (Americans with Disabilities Act)-approved sidewalk on both sides of the street,” he said.

It is expected to be completed before the Grabill Fair in September, Smead said.

Additionally, Granite Ridge Builders is constructing a subdivision near Witmer and Page roads, Smead said.

Over time, Granite Ridge is expected to construct 40 single-family homes on Witmer, just west of Page, said Izzy Rodriguez, the company's new home specialist.

It might add a villa section later, he said.

Three or four homes are already sold and three or four homes are being built for prospective buyers to tour. Homes are expected to range from $170,000 to $280,000, Rodriguez said.

“It's going to bring a lot of new homes to the area. That will be great for our town. It will bring a lot of new families in,” Smead said.

Plans for the rural community are ambitious.

“In the next five years we are looking at filling the industrial park, bringing more jobs to Grabill and continuing to improve our infrastructure,” he said.

“Eventually, we would like to look for land to build a community center or meeting place,” he said.

“Grabill is a busy place,” he said.