Transit Oriented Development RFP Opportunity

The Valparaiso Redevelopment Commission has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the development of property at and around 260-360 South Campbell Street Valparaiso, IN 46383.

The RFP is attached and is best viewed with an online connection to view all accompanying resources. The RFP can also be viewed online at:

The RFP is accompanied by a website that includes maps, property descriptions and environmental reports:

The Commission has also prepared a “virtual walk-through” including pictures and maps of buildings and parcels:

Please be aware of the following timeline:

March 5, 2018:
A walkthrough will be hosted at the Redevelopment Area from 2pm-4pm CT. Alternative tour dates may be arranged by contacting Lauren Orchard at; however, there is no guarantee that alternative dates can be accommodated.

April 5, 2018:
All requests for clarification must be received at least one (1) week before the opening date to allow for the issuance of any addendums determined by the Commission to be necessary.

April 12, 2018: Any Respondent wishing to make a Proposal to purchase any or all of parcels of the real estate offered for sale must submit their sealed, written Proposal no later than April 12, 2018, at 3:00 p.m. CT. The Proposals received will be opened in public by the Commission’s Executive Director on April 12, 2018 during the Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting, which begins at 4:00 pm CT.
Interpretations or clarifications determined necessary by the Commission will be issued by addenda mailed, e-mailed, or otherwise delivered to all Respondents recorded by the Commission as having received the RFP and requesting to receive updated information.

Please note that to receive addendums or other information updates, Respondents must email Lauren Orchard at to register their email contact information. Only questions answered by formal written addenda will be binding. Oral and other interpretations or clarifications from any other source will be without legal effect.

Podcast: Valparaiso neighborhood survey- we want your input! With Thais Carter

Jesse-Pifer neighborhood members plant trees

ValpoNEXT Sense of Place Community Action Committee leader Thais Carter wants to learn what residents think is important about building community in neighborhoods. In this episode she speaks with ValpoNEXT coordinator, Kathy Sipple, about the new survey created by Carley Lemmon, Assistant Planner for the City of Valparaiso.

This survey is a tool to help capture the variety of neighborhood activities present in Valparaiso, as well as determine ways to measure this engagement. The Sense of Place initiative is tied to these actions, focusing on measures to name and brand neighborhoods as well as developing a “Love your Neighborhood” program. Carter then discusses a potential city-wide block party, and explains how this communication and connection between neighbors is an extension of civic engagement.

Valparaiso residents are invited to share their ideas using this link. << CLICK HERE >>

Transcript Notes

  • Valparaiso has strong neighborhood identities, especially in historic and older neighborhoods.
  • Creating a survey asking residents about the people and places that resonate in their neighborhoods and how they participate.
    • Learn about the different things each neighborhood is active in.
    • Create indicators to develop a neighborhood toolkit
  • Sense of Place Initiative
    • Naming and branding neighborhoods.
    • Developing a “Love your Neighborhood” program.
  • No matter where you live in the city, your neighborhood’s sense of place matters, too.
  • Survey was created by Carley Lemmon, a Ball State graduate who has returned to Valpo in order to give back to her home.
  • Trying to create a community-wide block party.
    • Jesse-Pifer/Memorial neighborhood is an example of a neighborhood that is already throwing block parties.
    • Create a template for a city-wide block party in partnership with the Park’s department.
    • Take place at 5 parks throughout the city at the same time with food, music, and activities.
    • Celebrate what it means to be a neighbor in Valparaiso.
    • Build strong connections as neighbors and fellow citizens.
  • Civic engagement
    • Voting, showing up to meetings, etc.
    • ALSO learning to know your neighbors.
  • ValpoNEXT Twitter

Getting Involved!

Podcast: ValpoNEXT- A Short History and Where We Are Headed with Thais Carter

Thais Carter

ValpoNEXT Coordinator Kathy Sipple speaks with Thais Carter, Board Secretary and Community Action Committee Leader for Sense of Place. They discuss the timeline of how ValpoNEXT came to be, the reasons it was formed, and several essential members. The necessity for citizen engagement and volunteering is a forefront of the conversation as a whole, as well as ValpoNEXT’s dedication to communicating, convening, and celebrating. Sipple and Carter also discuss the current community boards and their main focuses, and give examples of the work that said boards are producing now.

Download a copy of the ValpoNEXT Vision Plan here.


  • 2013: City of Valparaiso launches ValpoNEXT Vision Planning process, working with PlanningNEXT as its consulting partner. Elizabeth Lynn and Matt Evans co-chair Citizen Steering Committee.
  • December 2014: Valparaiso’s City Council unanimously adopts ValpoNEXT’s Vision Plan.
  • January 2015: Evans and Lynn co-chair Implementation Task Force.
  • January 2016: Interim Oversight Committee to steward organizational start-up. City invites Garner Tullis to serve as Interim Coordinator.
  • January 2017: Organization launches with a new board.
  • November 2017: Kathy Sipple appointed Coordinator.

Community Action Committees

  • Economic Vitality
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Nurturing Our Young People
  • Sense of Place

Transcript Notes:

“ValpoNEXT exists to convene, communicate, and celebrate the work that citizens, organizations, businesses, and city leaders are doing to help us live our shared values and dreams for our community.”

  • Podcast is an opportunity for conversations with the community action committee leaders and members, citizens, organizations and other with ideas to share and help us toward our vision to have Valparaiso be the most civically engaged city of its size.
  • ValpoNEXT is focused on the conversation regarding who we wanted to be and how to get there.
  • Garner Tullis initially served as the interim coordinator in the beginning.

ValpoNEXT is focused on civic engagement and how we care for one another, and this is a national sentiment that we implement at the local level.

  • Executive committee (updated):
    • President: Eric Zosso
    • Secretary: Thais Carter
    • Treasurer: Jeff Lewis
    • Coordinator: Kathy Sipple
  • Board represents many niches within the Valparaiso community: want this organization to speak for everyone in Valpo.
  • This initiative is a volunteer-led initiative. ValpoNEXT, a 501(C)3 only has one part-time paid worker (Kathy Sipple); every other member is a volunteer citizen.
  • ValpoNEXT requires time, care, and resources from its citizens in order to function.
  • Communicate
    • Valpo is an amazing community, and ValpoNEXT wants to make sure everyone knows what options are available to help our community.
    • Become aware of all the ways our community members are stepping up.
  • Convene
    • Get all people invested in their projects the chance to get together and refine their work.
    • Bringing together the right people will amplify our ability to share our work and celebrate successes.
  • Celebrate
  • Community Action Committees: Public aspect of how ValpoNEXT functions
    • Encourage citizen presence at these meetings.
    • Check out our Facebook page to find the times and locations!
  • Current Community Action Committees
    • Economic Vitality
    • Equity and Inclusion
    • Nurturing Our Young People
    • Sense of Place
  • Land bank: Land banks are governmental entities or nonprofit corporations that are focused on the conversion of vacant, abandoned, and tax delinquent properties into productive use (Center for Community Progress)
    • ValpoNEXT will not create a land bank, but will provide information for passionate citizens so that they know how to achieve success.
  • Citizens who want to get involved but don’t know where to start can begin with ValpoNEXT.
    • Talk about what we want for our neighbors and for our families.

Getting Involved!