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City by the, The Voice of Michigan City, Indiana _ City Talk _ Is Michigan City the next New Buffalo?

Posted by: Southsider2k12 Nov 8 2023, 09:35 AM

Clarence Hulse had already spent several years receiving potentially transformative news for his town, Michigan City, Ind., when state officials delivered another momentous gift in August, announcing they’ll close the Indiana State Prison, which has stood on Michigan City’s eastern end since 1860, toward the end of this decade.

“That’s 100 acres that’s a few minutes by bike from the Mt. Baldy parking lot” in Indiana Dunes National Park, Hulse said. “That’s going to be prime land for development.”

Closing the prison — whose most famous inmate was John Dillinger — is the latest piece of good news for Hulse, director of the economic development corporation in Michigan City, a Lake Michigan shoreline town of 32,000 people 59 miles from the Loop.

With some of Michigan City’s biggest pockmarks being removed and investment coming in by the hundreds of millions, the town is at a pivot point in its history. In a decade, it could be a very different place from a little industrial town that used to be best known as the home of the Sansabelt slacks that Johnny Carson and his sidekick Ed McMahon hawked.

Instead, if all goes right, it could become a new hub of Lake Michigan shoreline living, with expensive rentals for either short-term use or long-time living, a restaurant scene and a train ride to Chicago that makes driving over the Skyway and through Gary a thing of the past.

In Michigan City, the hits keep coming, so many of them so far that Hulse says “I’m just glad they’re not all happening at once, so we can take this one piece at a time. We’re only going to get one chance to do it right.”

When it’s all done a decade from now, Hulse and others hope the city has 10,000 additional residents and an array of hotels, restaurants and short-term rentals to accommodate visitors to the national park and Michigan City’s pretty beach. Two notable first steps happened in October: Sola, a $280 million development of condos, hotels and restaurants spearheaded by prominent Chicago development firm Farpoint, and 11th Street Central, an $80 million mix of apartments, commercial space and parking near the South Shore train station from an Indianapolis developer, Flaherty & Collins Properties, both broke ground.

Posted by: diggler Nov 23 2023, 11:30 AM

Well lets just hope MC won't turn into another Gary: just another rust belt town with plans and hopes based on pipe dreams.

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