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> SoLa project gets underway
Southsider2k12
post Sep 26 2023, 06:46 AM
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https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/promine...a18e43adb5.html

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Soon, Michigan City's long low-slung skyline will start to get more vertical.

The $280 million SoLa development will tower 14 stories over the Lake Michigan shoreline. Flaherty & Collins plans to build an $80 million 12-story transit-oriented development near the new South Shore Line Station.

Though neither new development will be as tall as the 22-story Spa Blu Tower at the Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa by Trail Creek east of downtown, they will give the city's commercial district more height than the two- to three-story buildings that now line the main drag of Franklin Street.

"This is monumental. We're a small town in the Midwest and we're really punching above our weight class," Economic Development Corporation Michigan City Executive Director Clarence Hulse said.


Scott Goodman, who helped develop Fulton Market in the West Loop, McDonald's global headquarters and Google's Midwest headquarters in Chicago, is leading YAB Development Partners, which is building the 628,000-square-foot SoLa project at the You Are Beautiful site downtown. It will include two boutique hotels, a rooftop pool overlooking Lake Michigan, condos, townhomes, upscale restaurants, bars and 25,000 square feet of retail space.


"This is a legacy project," Hulse said. "We don't get to see this kind of thing very often. This is going to have a positive effect for years to come."

The project should help draw more people to the Lake Michigan shoreline, Hulse said.

"It becomes a place where you want to hang out and watch the beach from a very different setting," he said. "You don't have to go to the waterfront to enjoy it."

Visitors like to eat and shop, and the project will bring more amenities that should draw more visitors, Hulse said. It should benefit existing attractions like the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets, the Uptown Arts District and the Blue Chip Casino.

It should, for instance. help Blue Chip lure more conventions and conferences.

"People in banking, who are federal retirees or in churches don't like to stay in casino hotels but they will have conferences there," Hulse said. "So it helps them."
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 26 2023, 06:49 AM
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https://www.insideindianabusiness.com/artic...n-michigan-city

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Officials in Michigan City will break ground Friday on a $280 million mixed-use development that includes two new Wyndham-branded hotels, as well as residential and retail space with views of Lake Michigan.

SoLa, named for its location “South of the Lake,” will cover a total of 628,000 square feet of space and is billed as the largest development in the newly created Michigan City Transit Oriented Development District.

The project is being developed by YAB Development Partners, which says the development would have a major economic impact on the region to the tune of $680 million over 15 years.

SoLa is meant to take advantage of the $649 million South Shore Double Track project, which will add a second rail line between Gary and Michigan City, reducing commute times to Chicago by about 20 minutes.

The developers said this type of development is what state and local officials had in mind when envisioning the Double Track project, which is slated for completion next spring. Testing on the new line has already begun.

“When we set out to design the SoLa Development, we knew it had to be beautiful and state-of-the-art, reflecting the natural beauty of the lakeshore as well as the innovative nature of Michigan City itself,” YAB partner Barry Schain said in written remarks. “With the South Shore Line’s Double Track express line directly connecting Michigan City to Chicago, there is no better time to bring to life a development like SoLa that will benefit all who enjoy it.”

The 14-story, 255-room boutique hotels will feature the TRYP by Wyndham and Trademark Collection by Wyndham brands. A 15,000-square-foot swimming pool, rooftop lounge, fitness center and spa, and variety of restaurants, coffee shops and bars are included in the plans.

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SoLa will also include a 14-story, 164-unit condominium tower that will primarily feature two- and three-bedroom units, and the building will include a community room with a kitchen and work-from-home amenities, among others.

Additionally, the residential offering will feature 17 duplexed townhomes on the development’s lake side. Owners of the condos and townhomes will also have access to various hotel amenities.

The project also includes a 396-space parking garage.

The developers estimate the hotels will see nearly 100,000 guests per year and the development will help generate $10 million in annual visitor and tourism dollars. The project is also expected to create nearly 300 permanent jobs and hundreds more seasonal positions with an estimated $18.4 million in annual gross wages.

In a September 2022 interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, YAB partner Tom Dakich said the goal is to keep people from simply driving through Michigan City.

“Everybody extolled the virtues of southwest Michigan as being the greatest place in the world,” he said. “And my point is, wait a minute here. Look at look at what’s going on in Michigan City. Look at the marina in Michigan City. Look at our whole LaPorte County area. It’s just as nice. It’s just isn’t as developed as a southwest Michigan.”

The project is slated for completion in Spring 2026.
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Southsider2k12
post Sep 26 2023, 06:50 AM
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https://www.wndu.com/2023/09/14/downtown-mi...40m-investment/

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Significant changes are coming to Michigan City regarding a new development, and once built, it will give guests and residents a million-dollar view.

On Friday, the city breaks ground on a new development that includes hotel and residence space and a marketplace.

The developers of ‘SoLa,’ or South of the Lake, tell WNDU that it’s a $240 million view, as that is the price tag for this planned mixed-use development.

The SoLa development will include a 14-story 255-key hotel with a 164-unit 12-story condominium tower and will feature a rooftop swimming pool, fitness center, and spa.


The complex will also incorporate restaurants, bars, cafes, and other retail shops.

“One of the unique things about this development is its proximity; it’s so close to the Blue Chip Hotel and Casino, Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets, and Michigan City’s beautiful lakefront, which consists of a marina, beach, zoo, and surrounding green space,” said Duane Parry, mayor of Michigan City. “This is just a fabulous opportunity for Michigan City to support our new national park, the Indiana Dunes National Park.”

Indiana Dunes National Park was placed on the registry of national parks less than five years ago.

Within walking distance of downtown restaurants and shopping, and with the construction of the South Shore Double Track set to finish in 2024, this development really is in the heart of town.


“It cuts it down from about an hour and 50 minutes to just over an hour, so it’s fabulous,” Parry said. “It’s making Michigan City a bedroom community for Chicago, which I always felt it would be.”

Some residents are worried about what will happen to the “You Are Beautiful” sign on the land that is set to be developed, but Mayor Parry says the art installation will remain in Michigan City.

“No, no, we’re not going to throw it away,” Parry said. “It’s a valuable thing, and it’s got a place, just like if you watch a movie and they have the Hollywood sign, we will find a place for “You Are Beautiful” here in Michigan City that’s going to make people good being here.”

Officials expect the project to create over 800 jobs, with nearly 300 permanent jobs once SoLa is completed.
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Southsider2k12
post Oct 2 2023, 09:58 AM
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https://www.nwitimes.com/opinion/columnists...ffb0b9a4b5.html

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he woman stepped onto the empty sidewalk outside her shop. She looked up and down Franklin Street in the Uptown Arts District of Michigan City. There were no customers in sight.

She dragged a large sidewalk message board into her shop. It stated, “It’s a beautiful day in downtown Michigan City.” The sign didn’t lie. It was a beautiful day on that late Saturday afternoon. And yet visitors were sparse.

This is a familiar sight - not enough people - whenever I visit that section of the city. I don’t understand. It’s one of my favorite places in Northwest Indiana with an appealing mix of natural resources, touristy amenities and urban vibes.


This message board is located in front of a shop on Franklin Street in the Uptown Arts District of Michigan City.

It’s within walking distance of Washington Park Marina and zoo, the lighthouse pier, a buffet of restaurants, the beachfront, Lighthouse Place Premium Outlets Mall and, of course, Lake Michigan. Plus, the Blue Chip Casino and Hotel, an historic drawbridge and Lubeznik Center for the Arts are just a stroll away.
People are also reading…

With that said, the northern end of the city is a food desert with no daycare options, not enough jobs and a glaring lack of social services, according to Tom Dakich, one of four owners of YAB Development Partners.

“We’re trying to do something about it,” he said.

The SoLa “South of the Lake” development will feature two boutique hotels, a rooftop pool, upscale retail businesses and a wide variety of res…

YAB is behind the $280 million, 628,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art mixed-use development that broke ground last month in an empty field just south of the Lubeznik Center. The SoLa “South of the Lake” development will feature two boutique hotels, a rooftop pool, upscale retail businesses and a wide variety of residences including luxury condos and townhomes.

“SoLa will be unlike anything else on the market,” Kacia Snyder, a listing agent with Jameson Sotheby's International Realty, said in a statement.

I don’t doubt it. Nonetheless, I’m already hearing from critics of the massive project claiming it’s not what Michigan City residents need. Instead, it’s simply what deep-pocketed developers want. It’s designed only for elite Chicagoans, not for Region residents, they claim.
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Southsider2k12
post Mar 28 2024, 08:40 AM
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https://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/utility...5e9a5ce1f6.html

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tility relocation work has started on SoLa, the much-anticipated $280 million mixed-used development that's expected to transform downtown Michigan City and give it one of the most dramatic skylines in Northwest Indiana.

The towering 14-story development will be one of the tallest buildings in Michigan City and feature cutting-edge architecture, including a glassy façade and a donut shape with a hole circling around a fourth-story rooftop deck with sweeping views of Lake Michigan. The 628,000-square-foot project will include two boutique hotels, condos, townhomes, upscale restaurants, retail, bars and a rooftop pool overlooking Lake Michigan just steps from the Washington Park beach.

NIPSCO has been out at the site, getting it ready for construction.

"Now that the weather's better, they're moving the utilities," Michigan City Mayor Angie Nelson Deuitch said. "They've started relocating the gas lines. Basically, they're relocating the gas lines and prepping the site to begin."
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