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> MIchigan City Development Thread!
taxthedeer
post Mar 13 2015, 12:10 PM
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QUOTE(Hypnotic @ Mar 13 2015, 12:32 PM) *

Wow thanks, for the life of me I could not remember what was in that location before Box Office Video. I'm 35 so I was too young to see "Jim's Fiesta Villa." I can vaguely remember there being an "Al's" now that you point it out. My wife and I just went by the location the other day and couldn't recall what was there.

Lakeshore Foods closed the Al's location at 20 and Woodland around 1990 when they opened their Valuland II location in Lake Park Plaza in the building that now houses Hobby Lobby. In 1991 I actually worked with a great person at ANCO named Fran Brown who purchased a $5,000,000 jackpot winning Hoosier Lotto ticket at the former Valueland II store in Lake Park Plaza.

Lakeshore Foods closed the Valuland II store when Meijer opened up and priced them out of business by selling .89 gallons of milk along with other low priced staples that's why Valueland II closed down.

Here is a great read about independant grocery store Jim Agemy. Talks about food stores on the north end like Sunshine Market and Big Bear and Walter Tittle's Meat Market, a Kroger's on 4th street next to Flanigan's tire and Jewel and A&P. Mr. Agemy's first store at 8th & Wabash. People can't buy groceries there anymore either.


http://mclib.org/genealogy/oralhistory/agemy_j_t-6-129.pdf
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Southsider2k12
post Mar 13 2015, 03:04 PM
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QUOTE(Hypnotic @ Mar 13 2015, 12:05 PM) *

Look at similarly sized Kalamazoo for example, (land area) home to Western Michigan with 25,000 students, and Kalamazoo Valley with 12,000, a downtown business district replete with high rises etc. For being 20 square miles Michigan City is grossly under-populated and under-developed. There are many similar sized cities with double and triple the population. With the city wanting to build luxury high/mid-rises condos, high-end hotels, upscale eateries and becoming a regional destination there is no better way to go about it than having an educated workforce with high earnings potential and opportunities at home. I don't want to oversimplify the process but I think that there is always a market for institutions of higher learning. The industry sells itself really which in turn leads to other industries attaching themselves to the opportunities which are presented by such a massive development which then sells itself to the people.

With forming a university, I am led to believe that along with it, would also come more diversified professional industries to the city and surrounding area. High paying finance/medical/advertising/manufacturing jobs would materialize from large corporations which would locate to the city knowing it is drawing from a college educated population. As it stands, what motivation would a global corporation such as Mercedes have to ever build a Michigan City plant for example? Valparaiso has significantly more and higher paying manufacturing jobs and I believe that is solely due to having a higher educated workforce and better schools.

Considering that we are calculated in the Chicago Metropolitan Population which has roughly 9.7-10 million people and with many of these major universities having a 65-80% acceptance rate. Those statistics provide a potential student population that far, far exceeds what having 10 times the amount of colleges in the area could accommodate. I don't believe Michigan City proper would have to be the catalyst for success. If the school had a reputable research facility, division 1 athletics and post graduate programs I think the institution would make money.

As it stands, Michigan City is a dead end for it's citizenry. Low paying service jobs, a relatively high crime rate and a disillusioned youth who must relocate to find success leaves them taking menial jobs with no ambitions of attending college. All this could change with a systematic overhaul of the school system which would be possible with outreach programs through the university and funding from taxes collected. They could hire better teachers and administrators and students would take a more active role in their studies and preparation for their future's knowing their is an opportunity to attend school and find living wage employment at home.


Who exactly is looking to build a new university right now? And your first two paragraphs are exactly why Michigan City wouldn't be the first choice for anyone who was looking to expand. That is kind of my point. Why would THEY want to come HERE? It is obvious why we would want them here.
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Hypnotic
post Mar 14 2015, 04:30 PM
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QUOTE(Southsider2k12 @ Mar 13 2015, 04:04 PM) *

Who exactly is looking to build a new university right now? And your first two paragraphs are exactly why Michigan City wouldn't be the first choice for anyone who was looking to expand. That is kind of my point. Why would THEY want to come HERE? It is obvious why we would want them here.


Well obviously this is a hypothetical conversation. Please don't lose sight of the fact that I clearly stated that "nothing like this will ever happen." I am only making a case that the city could take steps to move in such a direction to make its self attractive to a university. They can create the climate necessary to bring something like this to fruition. Just like the city could have created the climate to bring in 3 twenty-four story high-rise condos as recommended by Lohan Anderson who would have signed on to be the "master-developer." If the city actively pursued such a venture it would be possible. You don't think that if the city approached say, Purdue or I.U. about bringing in a school and offered tax incentives, a land deal, significant state funding and promises to develop surrounding areas to attract potential students there would be an interest? As you said, they are in the money making business and a deal like that would be irresistible. This is just not where our values are, we are too concerned with building a lakefront shoppers paradise (and failing). As I said previously, P.N.C. is flourishing in Westville of all places with 4,500 students and making multi-million $ investments like a new, student activities center. Attach "Purdue" to a facility and the rest will follow. There is no reason Michigan City couldn't host a college 2-3 times the size. The city generated $27 million for "Artpsace" and a new police station. That sort of investment builds a very large state of the art facility for something like the new "Northern I.U." going up across from the airport on U.S. 12 on the 300 acres secured from the county in a low interest, 20 year tax free agreement where in exchange La Porte County residents receive financial relief on their annual tuitions. lol, That's all I'm saying.

Do you think Blue Chip blindly picked Michigan City from a map? Not hardly, the city aggressively engaged them and agreed to demolish an entire neighborhood to accommodate it, hence, "creating the climate." Why would a casino want to come to a "ghetto" and a city where the median household income is $40,000 then sit a barge in a creek that is marginally wider than the vessel and can only travel 100 feet? Remember? The casino was looking for a Lake Michigan location where the riverboat could travel for hours at a time. The Trail Creek Corridor Plan, Blocksom and marina relocations, Michigan Blvd beautification, etc. etc. is all steps the city conceptualized when the casino agreed to come to make it a viable and sustainable operation in the future. Blue Chip wants traffic to the district and the city made all sorts of promises to deliver. As I said in the first post they are encouraging the city to attract an "up-scale" hotel with convention space, high end dining and lake views. This could be viewed as competition but they embrace it for the potential increase in tourism. It takes a concerted effort and it's not always the development solely recruiting the location. Often they must be enticed.

Kohl's agreed to come and with that agreement came upgrades in sewer systems, renovating the existing plaza, parking lot, an uptick in pressure on the mall to do something with the property and future U.S. 20 streetscape improvements all on the city's behalf.


Michigan City wouldn't be anybody's first choice or ideal location for a burgeoning artist community either, throw in a $20 million investment on the city and private donor's behalves with renovation of an entire district, a newly renovated low-rise lofts, updated façade grants, attract other art related stores and trendy restaurants and Michigan City has itself a poor man's Greenwhich Village.

This sort of thinking that something can't be done in Michigan City is exactly why the city is so stagnated and been left behind by Valpo. In less than a decade Valpo turned sprawling forests and fields into professional office buildings, medical facilities, a $30 million Ivy Tech campus, large manufacturing facilities with living wage jobs, a regional hospital and big box retail shopping that puts Franklin to shame. Lincolnway has multiple mixed-use low-rise condo's with retail at street level. A completely revitalized bustling downtown with high-end boutiques and trendy shops. Highway 30 is also filled with stores and restaurants for miles, There has also been a 30% increase in population since the turn of the century. In that same period Michigan City built a 4 lane road primed for commercial development that shockingly still sits vacant and hasn't even filled numerous lots on Franklin Street. What resources were there exactly that Michigan City did not have? Michigan City has the lake, Lighthouse Mall and casino paying them tens of millions annually. Valpo's higher property taxes do not account for the amazing development and they always had higher median incomes than Michigan City yet was a ghost town by comparison. They had politicians and officials who went after it. That is why Michigan City went after Craig Philips. We see now there is a study being done every other week. The city might finally be getting it right.
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Hypnotic
post Mar 14 2015, 05:46 PM
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Holladay Properties must be doing a terrible job marketing Lifeworks Business Park. After 7 years we have one medical building for what was supposed to be a diverse village including a sports complex, hotel, restaurants, retail, medical and professional offices. Their park in Portage with Bass Pro Shop is underwhelming as well. Their resume is chalked full of architecturally bland, value engineered buildings with cheap materials and clashing colors and patterns. Why I.U. went with this firm as their marketer and developer is beyond me.

There used to sit a "Future Home of Lake City Bank" sign that looked like it was going to be 4 or 5 stories tall. That came down a couple years ago and the only activity after 7 years is they look to be adding some winding roads. That is pretty pathetic I have to say.

I saw today they are building a new Mc'Donald's that will be 2,000 sq. foot bigger and a really nice design as far as Mc'Donald's goes with an enhanced Play Place... The Lubeznik's seem to always make sure that, that location is the best Mc'Donald's around. It must be their 'flagship' store.
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Southsider2k12
post Mar 15 2015, 11:36 AM
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QUOTE(Hypnotic @ Mar 14 2015, 05:30 PM) *

Well obviously this is a hypothetical conversation. Please don't lose sight of the fact that I clearly stated that "nothing like this will ever happen." I am only making a case that the city could take steps to move in such a direction to make its self attractive to a university. They can create the climate necessary to bring something like this to fruition. Just like the city could have created the climate to bring in 3 twenty-four story high-rise condos as recommended by Lohan Anderson who would have signed on to be the "master-developer." If the city actively pursued such a venture it would be possible. You don't think that if the city approached say, Purdue or I.U. about bringing in a school and offered tax incentives, a land deal, significant state funding and promises to develop surrounding areas to attract potential students there would be an interest? As you said, they are in the money making business and a deal like that would be irresistible. This is just not where our values are, we are too concerned with building a lakefront shoppers paradise (and failing). As I said previously, P.N.C. is flourishing in Westville of all places with 4,500 students and making multi-million $ investments like a new, student activities center. Attach "Purdue" to a facility and the rest will follow. There is no reason Michigan City couldn't host a college 2-3 times the size. The city generated $27 million for "Artpsace" and a new police station. That sort of investment builds a very large state of the art facility for something like the new "Northern I.U." going up across from the airport on U.S. 12 on the 300 acres secured from the county in a low interest, 20 year tax free agreement where in exchange La Porte County residents receive financial relief on their annual tuitions. lol, That's all I'm saying.

Do you think Blue Chip blindly picked Michigan City from a map? Not hardly, the city aggressively engaged them and agreed to demolish an entire neighborhood to accommodate it, hence, "creating the climate." Why would a casino want to come to a "ghetto" and a city where the median household income is $40,000 then sit a barge in a creek that is marginally wider than the vessel and can only travel 100 feet? Remember? The casino was looking for a Lake Michigan location where the riverboat could travel for hours at a time. The Trail Creek Corridor Plan, Blocksom and marina relocations, Michigan Blvd beautification, etc. etc. is all steps the city conceptualized when the casino agreed to come to make it a viable and sustainable operation in the future. Blue Chip wants traffic to the district and the city made all sorts of promises to deliver. As I said in the first post they are encouraging the city to attract an "up-scale" hotel with convention space, high end dining and lake views. This could be viewed as competition but they embrace it for the potential increase in tourism. It takes a concerted effort and it's not always the development solely recruiting the location. Often they must be enticed.

Kohl's agreed to come and with that agreement came upgrades in sewer systems, renovating the existing plaza, parking lot, an uptick in pressure on the mall to do something with the property and future U.S. 20 streetscape improvements all on the city's behalf.
Michigan City wouldn't be anybody's first choice or ideal location for a burgeoning artist community either, throw in a $20 million investment on the city and private donor's behalves with renovation of an entire district, a newly renovated low-rise lofts, updated façade grants, attract other art related stores and trendy restaurants and Michigan City has itself a poor man's Greenwhich Village.

This sort of thinking that something can't be done in Michigan City is exactly why the city is so stagnated and been left behind by Valpo. In less than a decade Valpo turned sprawling forests and fields into professional office buildings, medical facilities, a $30 million Ivy Tech campus, large manufacturing facilities with living wage jobs, a regional hospital and big box retail shopping that puts Franklin to shame. Lincolnway has multiple mixed-use low-rise condo's with retail at street level. A completely revitalized bustling downtown with high-end boutiques and trendy shops. Highway 30 is also filled with stores and restaurants for miles, There has also been a 30% increase in population since the turn of the century. In that same period Michigan City built a 4 lane road primed for commercial development that shockingly still sits vacant and hasn't even filled numerous lots on Franklin Street. What resources were there exactly that Michigan City did not have? Michigan City has the lake, Lighthouse Mall and casino paying them tens of millions annually. Valpo's higher property taxes do not account for the amazing development and they always had higher median incomes than Michigan City yet was a ghost town by comparison. They had politicians and officials who went after it. That is why Michigan City went after Craig Philips. We see now there is a study being done every other week. The city might finally be getting it right.


All of the things you are mentioning have one thing in common. They all benefit from low wages to pay to their employees, and low costs barriers to entry. They don't need an educated community to survive or to support them.

And if one of the major universities wanted to expand, hypothetically, why Michigan City over say Chesterton or Portage?
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outsider
post Mar 15 2015, 10:05 PM
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Do you think Blue Chip blindly picked Michigan City from a map? Not hardly, the city aggressively engaged them and agreed to demolish an entire neighborhood to accommodate it, hence, "creating the climate." Why would a casino want to come to a "ghetto" and a city where the median household income is $40,000 then sit a barge in a creek that is marginally wider than the vessel and can only travel 100 feet? Remember? The casino was looking for a Lake Michigan location where the riverboat could travel for hours at a time. The Trail Creek Corridor Plan, Blocksom and



If memory serves me - No one picked MC for a casino or any other casino site. MC and the other sites were awarded a casino by state legislation. The casino operators did lobby the state for particular sites but no deals were made with individual localities until the state approved all the sites. No state licenses were granted until circa 1992 or 1993. Several of the casino operators did make aggressive moves in the late 1980's by acquiring land - Blue Chip land was acquired as early as 1988 which was the year that Indiana voters chose to amend the state constitution to allow lotteries (casinos were a stretch but they smelled opportunity). The Canada neighborhood was being purchases by three different operators at the time whom all assumed either land based or riverboat gambling would be legal someday in a format consistent to what other states were doing.
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Hypnotic
post Mar 17 2015, 04:25 PM
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QUOTE(outsider @ Mar 15 2015, 11:05 PM) *


If memory serves me - No one picked MC for a casino or any other casino site. MC and the other sites were awarded a casino by state legislation. The casino operators did lobby the state for particular sites but no deals were made with individual localities until the state approved all the sites. No state licenses were granted until circa 1992 or 1993. Several of the casino operators did make aggressive moves in the late 1980's by acquiring land - Blue Chip land was acquired as early as 1988 which was the year that Indiana voters chose to amend the state constitution to allow lotteries (casinos were a stretch but they smelled opportunity). The Canada neighborhood was being purchases by three different operators at the time whom all assumed either land based or riverboat gambling would be legal someday in a format consistent to what other states were doing.



Blue Chip casino was actively pursing a lakefront location where the vessel could travel freely. I cant remember all the details but I can distinctly remember talk of a location near Nipsco being utilized. Trail Creek was sort of a compromise. Fundamentally the point at hand remains that conditions were contrived to create an ideal situation where hosting a casino could become viable.
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Hypnotic
post Mar 17 2015, 04:39 PM
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QUOTE(Southsider2k12 @ Mar 15 2015, 12:36 PM) *

All of the things you are mentioning have one thing in common. They all benefit from low wages to pay to their employees, and low costs barriers to entry. They don't need an educated community to survive or to support them.

And if one of the major universities wanted to expand, hypothetically, why Michigan City over say Chesterton or Portage?


I guess we are at an impasse as I see a university as a regional investment where you see it as being reliant upon Michigan City proper to staff and attend it. Where does Westville prison find it's staff? Where does P.N.C.? There are a great number of underemployed college graduates in the area anyway. I know a woman with a Master's in Education who managed the uniform outlet. The institution itself would attract potential candidates to the area. *Example, Dr's wouldn't show up in Westville to work on their own volition. Build a regional hospital and look, There are now a bunch of Dr.s in Westville.

As for why not Chesterton or Portage, that goes to my other point. The location needs to entice the institution and appeal to their needs presenting the ideal climate and securing the best offer possible.
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Southsider2k12
post Mar 17 2015, 06:14 PM
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QUOTE(Hypnotic @ Mar 17 2015, 05:39 PM) *

I guess we are at an impasse as I see a university as a regional investment where you see it as being reliant upon Michigan City proper to staff and attend it. Where does Westville prison find it's staff? Where does P.N.C.? There are a great number of underemployed college graduates in the area anyway. I know a woman with a Master's in Education who managed the uniform outlet. The institution itself would attract potential candidates to the area. *Example, Dr's wouldn't show up in Westville to work on their own volition. Build a regional hospital and look, There are now a bunch of Dr.s in Westville.

As for why not Chesterton or Portage, that goes to my other point. The location needs to entice the institution and appeal to their needs presenting the ideal climate and securing the best offer possible.


I would love to see a university locate here, but I still don't see any evidence that Michigan City could offer more for a university wanting a new location, versus the other towns in the area.

I have no problem saying it would be a great thing for Michigan City, but again this is a two way street... why would this be a better place for the university? To me I don't see a solid reason why a university would rather open up here, and wait for candidates to eventually get here, versus opening in a place that already has the demographics to instantly support the institution, both from a staffing and an educational attendee standpoint. They aren't looking to be a communities welfare check. They are looking to expand their own footprint in the most efficient way possible for the university.

Finally, I don't know of any university in the State of Indiana that is actively looking to expand in the first place. We all know Purdue is actually looking to cut costs by combining adminstration at PNC and PurdueCal. So who else? Indiana has campuses in both South Bend and Gary already, so cross them off of the list. I don't see it.
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post Mar 17 2015, 08:24 PM
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QUOTE(Hypnotic @ Mar 17 2015, 04:25 PM) *

Blue Chip casino was actively pursing a lakefront location where the vessel could travel freely. I cant remember all the details but I can distinctly remember talk of a location near Nipsco being utilized. Trail Creek was sort of a compromise. Fundamentally the point at hand remains that conditions were contrived to create an ideal situation where hosting a casino could become viable.



The City was not seeking a casino at the time. The casinos were speculating on future laws and were buying land all over the place. Michigan City government or Chamber did not enter the mix until years later after the lottery law was passed.

Which brings me to my next point. A lot of businesses do relocate without consultation of local business development offices and local governments. Happens all the time.
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taxthedeer
post Mar 17 2015, 09:31 PM
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QUOTE(outsider @ Mar 17 2015, 09:24 PM) *

The City was not seeking a casino at the time. The casinos were speculating on future laws and were buying land all over the place. Michigan City government or Chamber did not enter the mix until years later after the lottery law was passed.

Which brings me to my next point. A lot of businesses do relocate without consultation of local business development offices and local governments. Happens all the time.

Michigan City got the casino because Porter county voted down the referendum in November of 1993. If the referendum would have passed in Porter county the casino would be in Burns Ditch in Portage today.

I remember a casino called Isle of Capri was originally going to get the license. I remember the woman who was the public relations rep for Isle of Capri stayed here for a short time and had some sort of position with the chamber of commerce. I can't remember her name for the life of me but remember that she was really pretty.
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taxthedeer
post Mar 26 2015, 07:50 PM
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Bids are now being accepted to tear down the Flamingo Record Store on Michigan Blvd. and the former Westside Liquor store on Willard Ave.
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taxthedeer
post Apr 2 2015, 08:35 PM
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The former crumbling former Flannigan Tire Building at 9th and Ohio St. has been torn down. That property is going to become the Marquette High School soccer complex.
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post Apr 3 2015, 04:49 AM
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QUOTE(Hypnotic @ Mar 13 2015, 12:32 PM) *

Wow thanks, for the life of me I could not remember what was in that location before Box Office Video. I'm 35 so I was too young to see "Jim's Fiesta Villa." I can vaguely remember there being an "Al's" now that you point it out. My wife and I just went by the location the other day and couldn't recall what was there.

And that is right across the street from the very cool MCK Car Wash
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post Apr 6 2015, 10:43 AM
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I was very surprised and elated to see that big, what I assume to be a new hotel in Lifeworks Business Park going up. This one completely caught me off guard. They are currently on the 4th story. I hope they go 6 or 7 but I saw they had the elevator shaft built up only slightly higher than the forms for the walls. I think it might top out at 4 stories. The Hampton Inn near New Buffalo is 5 or 6 stories and has a nice presence from the highway. It appears significantly larger than Country Inn and Suites & Microtel. It looks as though it will be a Fairfield, Hilton Garden Inn, or Marriot (Courtyard). Not a budget brand hotel. I doubt Hampton or Holiday Inn would want to get back into the Michigan City market.

In the "South Side Study" they have recommended that the city attract architecturally significant "landmark" type structures to be visible from 94 to establish an identity to motorists. I hope this is the first of many to come. I was just super-critical of how I.U. and Holladay Properties have handled this venture. This is the first building in 7 years to be built. I wish that the Lake City Bank deal did not fall through as they had plans to build a 5 story bank in front of the medical building....


I hope we get a few suburban office type buildings in the 8-12 story range off of 94. Similar to Downers Grove or even Merrillville.
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taxthedeer
post Aug 12 2015, 05:59 PM
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I see that Ball St. is going to conduct a $11,000 study on the Eastport area.

I will give the results of my study free of charge.

In order to better serve the residents of that section of the city the following needs to be developed:

-grocery store
-hardware store
-full service auto parts store
-self service laundromat

http://www.thenewsdispatch.com/news/articl...156d6967a6.html

QUOTE
Neighborhood study possible for Eastport area
Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 2:21 pm

By JESSICA O'BRIEN Staff Writer | 0 comments


MICHIGAN CITY — If the Michigan City Common Council approves a request for $11,000 next month, students from Ball State University could be visiting the city to conduct a study of the Eastport neighborhood.

This neighborhood is the area within Poplar and Vail streets to the west, Roeske Avenue on the east, Springland Avenue on the north and Barker Avenue to the south.
The goal is to examine this area and consider how the quality of life can be improved, said Councilman Rich Murphy, who introduced this ordinance to the council on first reading last week.


"Certainly the city has invested in this corridor to help pull up the area," Murphy said, referring to the Michigan Boulevard enhancements and the ongoing construction on the city's new police station. "This is looking at the next step."


The ordinance seeks money from the Boyd Development fund to cover the costs associated with this study which will be a semester-long project for urban planning students at the university.


However, Murphy said any action or improvements which come of this study will have to be further funded by city money. Since the entire neighborhood lies outside of the city's tax increment financing districts, Redevelopment Commission funds will not be available, said City Planner Craig Phillips.


Murphy said Community Development Block Grant funds are a potential funding source for any projects in this area.


Possible implementations resulting from this study could include ways to bring more economic development to the area, enhance existing amenities or the addition of new parks and recreation areas.


This study will be led by Professor Scott Truex of Ball State University and is expected to begin in mid-October if the funds are appropriated.


Murphy said the students will begin by walking through the neighborhood, speaking with residents and stakeholders. "They will look at the existing assets of the neighborhood ... and how those assets can be leveraged and enhanced for the best quality of life and economic results," he said.


Throughout the semester, the students will be gathering information and input from neighborhood residents, compiling a final presentation on their recommendations at the end of the year.


In 2007, architecture students from Andrews University completed a similar study on the north end, Murphy said, resulting in what he called a positive kick off to improvements in that area. This is a second opportunity for the city to benefit from taking a closer look at one of its neighborhoods.


"Students think outside the box and they're not afraid to propose new ideas," he said. "They really engage the community because they are young students and they have a lot of energy and a lot to offer."


This ordinance will be on second reading during the Aug. 18 meeting of the Michigan City Common Council, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.



STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY, STUDY....
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taxthedeer
post Sep 15 2015, 11:10 AM
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Happy to see the old and abandoned Flamingo Record Store on the Boulevard has been demolished.
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taxthedeer
post Sep 16 2015, 04:39 PM
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West Side Liquors on Willard Ave. has been demolished as well.
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Hypnotic
post Nov 11 2016, 10:39 PM
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They just broke ground on this new $20 million senior assisted living facility by 'Vermilion Acquisitions' on U.S. 35 across from the Kia dealership. Not that the people would know seeing the News-Dispatch is worthless. It's so typical with it's 4 stories, lack of architectural competency and a 55' roof height making this another version of Microtel, Country Inn and Suites and the new Hampton Inn. As with all the aforementioned projects and along with the new Franciscan hospital going up on I-94 these buildings are god-awful. I wish they both would have scrapped the L shape and just built 8 and 10 story buildings with much better design elements. For nearly $200 million the new Franciscan Alliance hospital could have become the tallest hospital in Northwest Indiana. If they would have reduced the footprint and went upward similar to LaPorte Hospital they could have conceivably reached 12-16 stories which would be a towering presence along the interstate and would have given Michigan City a regional distinction and recognition that was far reaching and extremely inspiring for new future investors.


They are in the later stages of planning with the new "Elston's Legacy" Apartments on the former Memorial Hospital property which are allegedly "upscale" rentals that have 40 units with ground-level hidden parking garages and retail fronting Pine St and open space. From what I am hearing and seeing they will look almost exactly like the above image of the assisted living center or very similar to Valpo's "Uptown East" 4 story apartments for students which are again abysmal and uninspiring. The materials will be cheap brick, block and flexicore as stated by the developer Paul Dresden.

Craig Phillips and company from trends I see taking place are only interested in making Michigan City into Valpo 2.0

These are examples of small-unit apartment buildings Michigan City should strive to bring to it's downtown rather than carbon copies of the lifeless projects that have sprung up around Valparaiso and Notre Dame Universities which is also exactly what Portage is planning to erect in the coming years.

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The above images are the type of buildings and design level the city should be striving to develop and the minimal standards they should hold any architects to. These are prime locations but I digress. We will get boring run of the mill 4/5 stories at most and ground-floor retail buildings with value engineered to death materials and the most elementary architecture. Requiring the standard illustrated in the images above would give Michigan City a major edge over the competition and solidify itself as offering the most iconic and premier downtown living space on the market in Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan. A development with 4-6 of these-type buildings would offer a luxury lifestyle with amenities not available anywhere else in Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan and at a much cheaper cost of living. This density would produce heavy foot-traffic to the 'Arts-District,' Lighthouse Mall and lake. This is extremely doable, there is a market. Michigan City must do the marketing and recruitment work with the right master developer and offer to help with funding of infrastructure and offer tax abatements. This would definitely give Michigan City a vast leap beyond the competing Portage/Valpo/South Bend-Mishawaka/Elkhart who are all boasting their own thorough revitalization plans. This would create a "Transit Oriented Development/District" on a scale that is unseen outside of Chicago.

There is no market saturation and Michigan City would fill a mountainous void with these high-end developments and here we have very modern urban designs made of high-end urban materials like steel, concrete and glass curtain walls with facade material and massing variance in the mid-rise 8-12 story range which would flourish in tandem with the NICTD double tracking and the current migration trends of people fleeing the Chicago Burbs.

Our potential far exceeds that of our neighbors and it's up to us to communicate it and not settle for average or mundane. The City's investment in raising test scores and partnering with colleges is working and investments in the technology sector to diversify the economy is in the works to replace the living wage manufacturing jobs that have long been gone and Michigan City on it's current course will have a significant number of residents to perform these intellectual jobs and thus, will require a higher standard of housing which could help add viability to like projects outside of uber-rich Chicagoan's looking for second homes and ex-burbians searching for a lower cost of living.


The City is spending millions to adopt these studies like the 421 South Franklin Plan and the award winning Lake Michigan Gateway Implementation Strategy but they are lacking any additional or original vision what-so-ever. They are simply copying letter by letter every recommendation within the documents and failing to attract or implement any ideas from developers with a contradictory vision for the North and South Ends. These studies while helpful should have been used only as rough-guides rather than actual blue-prints as the city is treating them. Franklin Square is filled with massive grey fields and empty corner lots/fields while the city is doing nothing to bring in dense development to these areas and can't even fill all the empty storefronts currently vacant.

I have sources who are tasked with developing the property of the former police station and News Dispatch building after demolition and its no secret the plan is for a 10 story hotel atop a 4 story covered parking structure so it will probably stand in the 150-180 ft. range with the purpose being a full-service high-end hotel providing lake views if financing is secured and a tenant is found. The company is already working on other projects in the city and has a solid track record but they have never planned, designed or built a high-rise before so I am skeptical.

I was very positive and highly encouraged by the millions the city is investing in redeveloping the majority of the city but with the money being invested the return on investment from a design and wow standpoint have all just been huge value engineered missed opportunities like the Michigan Boulevard revitalization that missed the mark on so many levels it's laughable. The new police station is another swing and miss with it's location and site plan. Building it into a hill to hide 40% of the building is ridiculous and facing west on the lot is pitiful. The best angles of the building are invisible to traffic or pedestrians and you have to drive into a residential neighborhood to see it's true size, shape and value. I will say the design is actually note-worthy however but indeed wasted.

If Michigan City really plans on becoming the"premier lakefront destination with regional tourism" they better ditch the bland, cookie-cutter uninspiring low-rise developments and actually demand a certain quality of architecture that is relevant if not game-changing and they need buildings with more height to view the lake. You can literally go to Valpo, Portage, Mishawaka and (or) any number of other lakefront cities to see the package Michigan City is currently engineering. I thought they were serious about setting themselves apart and offering an experience like nothing else in the Wisconsin-Indiana-Illinois area with cutting edge architecture, mid and high rise developments as laid out by Lohan Andersen and major attractions with year-round capabilities. It is still early days for all of this but the path they are on is just regurgitated Valpo/Portage/South Bend/Mishawaka gentrified, suburban corniness and naivety when they have an opportunity to build a dense urban core with avant garde eateries, shops and cafe's. High-end dining and a walkable downtown with a blend of mixed-use mid and high rise buildings that offer a unique street-level experience found in metropolises where the people live/work and of course bring in tourism dollars in the millions.

Tracy Cross killed the city building high-rises with a negative feasibility study performed in the middle of the worst recession since the great depression. No effort on behalf of the city to take a new look in this climate with the projected $1 billion in public and private investment coming into downtown after the NICTD double track takes 45 minutes off of the Chicago commute. I know perfectly well in adition to my other proposals for the city it could also support a signature 25-30 story mixed-use high-rise tower with office, retail, rentals and condos on the city's North end along with the planned 14 story hotel. There is a large enough leakage from Chicago's suburbs and enough second-home buyers along with upper-middle class MC day-trippers that would jump at the chance to live/work/stay in a 300 ft. tower with great views of Chicago and the lake.

Rant over. I hope the powers that be read this post and take note and really give it consideration while asking themselves, does the plans they are unfolding and the scale, quality and design of their developments they approve and cheerlead really represent Michigan City's goals of becoming a World-Class city regionally or even nationally beloved and treasured. If they are honest with themselves I think they would say no. I do not want to see the city falling into the trap of building what's quick, cheap, common and feasible for the moment when they could build this city to become the industry leading destination well into the future with the right urban planning and investing in marquee projects on a much larger scale and scope than their current vision allows.
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post Nov 12 2016, 07:56 AM
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MC should seriously consider having a Trump Tower by the lake. This area is poised to be the premier hospitality center of the Midwest. cool.gif

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