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View Poll Results: What is the "next great town" of NWI?
Highland 2 7.69%
Dyer 2 7.69%
Schererville 1 3.85%
St. John 9 34.62%
Crown Point 4 15.38%
Griffith 0 0%
Lowell 4 15.38%
Hammond 4 15.38%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 09-28-2010, 04:02 PM
 
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I think it's safe to say that Munster right now is likely the most desirable place to live in NWI. My question is this, what do you think is the next town in NWI to explode like Munster has over the last decade to become a mature town, see rising real estate prices, and all other attributes that make a town so desirable?


PS - I also left Valpo off this list as I feel like it's the Munster of Porter County.
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:13 PM
 
Location: Hoosierville
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Nope.

It's Valpo.

Neener neener neener.



Seriously, I know where you're going with this - I think anyway. I doubt that there will be any town (except for Valpo) that will/can come close to the prestige of Munster (except Valpo). Are there certain subdivisions in other towns that can give Munster a run for its money based on an elite factor? Yes. But as a whole, Munster is, and will always be considered the cream of the NWI crop (except for Valpo) because of it's long standing reputation in the area.

ETA: You musta edited your post to add the last line in the second it took me to read your post and click to respond. LOL!!
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Old 09-28-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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HAHA I did edit it, and I wanted to add Chesterton to the poll too but I couldn't figure out how to modify the poll options. I'm not sure that there can't be another Munster, I think it's very possible. My first instict would tell me Dyer due to proximity to IL. I think CP has plateaued because it won't attract many Chicago workers like Munster and the tritowns do.
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Old 09-28-2010, 05:09 PM
 
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Default Saint John

I honestly feel that Saint John is the next great town. Almost 100% of the growth is due to White Collar Professionals moving in and making the town more affluent and attractive. It may not be as attractive for commuting to Chicago as Munster is, but it seems that it is the best rival to Munster in most other aspects. The housing stock is upscale and for the most part, differentiated (semi-custom or custom). It still has the charm of a small town yet is gaining the conveniences of a larger town. It also has a brand new middle school in the district situated amongst nice neighborhoods.

The subdivision, Lake Hills, is a HUGE success for the town. If it were gated, I believe it be even more attractive (but that is just my opinion ).

If the proposed West Lake Corridor is extended through Munster and through Saint John, then there is no question at all that Saint John will continue to boom and reap its rewards for good planning.

However, one thing I feel should be encouraged in town is the redevelopment of homes near the center of town. Munster has seen a sizeable increase in the amount of teardowns and it is a huge positive sign. If Saint John adopts this attitude, then maybe it will be able to control sprawl and retain its charm.

Runner-up for the "next great town" goes to Dyer. Briar Ridge CC, its proximity to 394, its location on the [future but soon to be present] West Lake Corridor, and Munster's proximity have really helped the town boom in recent years and will help it continue to boom. The housing stock is pretty stable and nice as well. Also the commercial activity in the town is very good given its relatively small size.

Honorary Mention: Cedar Lake. It seems as though Hanover schools are making an honest attempt at improving their schools (physically and academically) and there is a good amount of new construction going on. Yes, some of the construction is of summer homes, but a good amount is of primary homes as well. Also it is located on the West Lake Corridor and will see huge rewards if the line is extended.

As you can see, the one common thing that I believe will help these 3 towns is the fact that the future commuter line runs through them. Look at the most affluent towns in Illinois, and the northeast...They ALL have commuter rail lines and stations in them.

Last edited by Northwest Indiana; 09-28-2010 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:28 PM
 
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I would probably have to agree with St. John, over Dyer which I had stated previously. For some reason, it just seems like St. John is a notch "better" than Dyer for whatever reason, although the two towns are very similar in population. The new middle school that you mentioned, Clark, in St. John is unbelievable. A good friend of mine teaches there and I've visted it a few times and it could easily be mistaken for a high school, there's 1,300 kids that go there! It's a beautiful new building and the residents of St. John are sending their kids to an excellent middle school.

Dyer to me seems like a little lost town that's squeezed in between the much better known Schererville and Munster (and now very well known St John). I feel like it needs some kind of identity, or downtown, something.

Cedar Lake is almost 100% dependent on the WLC if that town is going to take the next step. Right now, it's just too far south from everything. If there's a train stop there and if the town can really take advantage of the lake, it could become very desirable. I think you can throw Lowell into this category as well as needing WLC.

I think we can rule out Griffith unless that town makes a huge reversal.

Thoughts on Schererville? It's population is the size of Dyer and St. John combined, and there's still plenty of open areas in Schererville to build on. I've always thought of Schererville as the middle class but financially comfortable type of family-oriented town. I think really all it needs is its own high school which it could support, but that may not be coming anytime soon. Essentially, I feel like all of the tri-towns are really close to bursting at the seams, with the one holdup being the LC mess.

I noticed 1 vote for Crown Point. Would you mind expanding on why you see this happening? I have my doubts but I'd like to hear your reasoning.

Last edited by svillechris; 09-28-2010 at 10:36 PM..
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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Default My thoughts on Schererville

Quote:
Originally Posted by svillechris View Post
I would probably have to agree with St. John, over Dyer which I had stated previously. For some reason, it just seems like St. John is a notch "better" than Dyer for whatever reason, although the two towns are very similar in population. The new middle school that you mentioned, Clark, in St. John is unbelievable. A good friend of mine teaches there and I've visted it a few times and it could easily be mistaken for a high school, there's 1,300 kids that go there! It's a beautiful new building and the residents of St. John are sending their kids to an excellent middle school.

Dyer to me seems like a little lost town that's squeezed in between the much better known Schererville and Munster (and now very well known St John). I feel like it needs some kind of identity, or downtown, something.

Cedar Lake is almost 100% dependent on the WLC if that town is going to take the next step. Right now, it's just too far south from everything. If there's a train stop there and if the town can really take advantage of the lake, it could become very desirable. I think you can throw Lowell into this category as well as needing WLC.

I think we can rule out Griffith unless that town makes a huge reversal.

Thoughts on Schererville? It's population is the size of Dyer and St. John combined, and there's still plenty of open areas in Schererville to build on. I've always thought of Schererville as the middle class but financially comfortable type of family-oriented town. I think really all it needs is its own high school which it could support, but that may not be coming anytime soon. Essentially, I feel like all of the tri-towns are really close to bursting at the seams, with the one holdup being the LC mess.

I noticed 1 vote for Crown Point. Would you mind expanding on why you see this happening? I have my doubts but I'd like to hear your reasoning.
My thoughts on Schererville is that it will continue to improve, but will not see much more residential relocation (unless a new "Schererville High School" is built). However, I think that if those upscale lifestyle centers ever get built, it will put Schererville on the map as a regional shopping destination as opposed to just a local one. Schererville is one of those towns where it seems that whichever area you are in, it tends to resemble the towns near it. For example, the area by Stone Bridge estates and Briar Ridge feel more like Munster with it's higher income housing whereas the eastern part of town by 73rd street/ E Joliet St resembles more of Merrillville with it's more modest housing. When assigning labels to towns, Schererville is the one town in NWI that arguably does not necessarily fit a certain label. The closest labels I could think of is "One-stop shopping town" or "crossroads of Lake County". At the end of the day, it seems as though aside from its heavy traffic and loads of shopping, Schererville is defined mostly by the towns that it borders.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
My thoughts on Schererville is that it will continue to improve, but will not see much more residential relocation (unless a new "Schererville High School" is built). However, I think that if those upscale lifestyle centers ever get built, it will put Schererville on the map as a regional shopping destination as opposed to just a local one. Schererville is one of those towns where it seems that whichever area you are in, it tends to resemble the towns near it. For example, the area by Stone Bridge estates and Briar Ridge feel more like Munster with it's higher income housing whereas the eastern part of town by 73rd street/ E Joliet St resembles more of Merrillville with it's more modest housing. When assigning labels to towns, Schererville is the one town in NWI that arguably does not necessarily fit a certain label. The closest labels I could think of is "One-stop shopping town" or "crossroads of Lake County". At the end of the day, it seems as though aside from its heavy traffic and loads of shopping, Schererville is defined mostly by the towns that it borders.
I'll have to respectfully disagree on this point. Both Foxwood North and South border Merrillville. In my opinion (and in the opinion of everyone Ive talked with), these are gorgeous subdivisions with big beautiful houses. These houses are much bigger and nicer than what can be found in the nearby area of Merrillville.
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Old 09-29-2010, 05:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svillechris View Post
I'll have to respectfully disagree on this point. Both Foxwood North and South border Merrillville. In my opinion (and in the opinion of everyone Ive talked with), these are gorgeous subdivisions with big beautiful houses. These houses are much bigger and nicer than what can be found in the nearby area of Merrillville.
I forgot about that subdivision. My apologies. That subdivision does have very nice homes. However, the majority of homes in both Foxwood North and South are newer quad-levels, bi-levels and traditional two-story homes that run under $400,000 on average. So while they are not exactly modest, they are also not in the same league as the executive style homes in Stone Bridge Estates and Briar Ridge. There are some executive style homes in Foxwood, but they do not command nearly the same price as those in Briar Ridge or Stone Bruge.The nearby "Prairie Creek" subdivision in Merrillville (Whitcomb St & W 73rd Ave) has many NEW homes that are very similar to those of Foxwood (maybe a few more quads and bi-levels in Prairie Creek). Yes Foxwood has a few more executive style homes and the homes overall cost more than in Prairie Creek but that is mostly because the quality of school systems and towns are dictating the price in that situation.

Also, take a look at this:

Schererville listings above $400,000

Almost all of the listings are in the western area of town

Last edited by Northwest Indiana; 09-29-2010 at 05:56 AM..
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Old 09-29-2010, 06:55 AM
 
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*sigh* I know things inevitably change, and I'm in the minority among people who follow this forum, but I'm really not sure about this holy grail you guys are chasing. If you talk to long-time residents of St. John, most of them seem wistful for the days before the new developments came in. I remember a friend in Wilmington IL saying in the 90's when the housing boom was starting, that she wanted to form a "No Progress Party" and of course she was exaggerating but I know exactly what she meant. As mentioned, Schererville has "loads of shopping." I truly don't see what's lacking there. As also mentioned, the region has loads of traffic, and the lack of options for through-streets, developments will only make that worse. Homewood, without nearly the shopping of this area (and with very liveable traffic conditions) is consistently touted as a great place to live on the suburban Chicago forum. Northwest Indiana, with the exception of a very few towns, is a great place to live. It will inevitably grow, but I don't think there's any reason to push for major changes or for a "next great town".
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Old 09-29-2010, 07:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subject2change View Post
*sigh* I know things inevitably change, and I'm in the minority among people who follow this forum, but I'm really not sure about this holy grail you guys are chasing. If you talk to long-time residents of St. John, most of them seem wistful for the days before the new developments came in. I remember a friend in Wilmington IL saying in the 90's when the housing boom was starting, that she wanted to form a "No Progress Party" and of course she was exaggerating but I know exactly what she meant. As mentioned, Schererville has "loads of shopping." I truly don't see what's lacking there. As also mentioned, the region has loads of traffic, and the lack of options for through-streets, developments will only make that worse. Homewood, without nearly the shopping of this area (and with very liveable traffic conditions) is consistently touted as a great place to live on the suburban Chicago forum. Northwest Indiana, with the exception of a very few towns, is a great place to live. It will inevitably grow, but I don't think there's any reason to push for major changes or for a "next great town".
One thing NWI is lacking in is high-end shopping. Sure, some may say this is simply materialistic, but lets be honest. The vast majority of places with high-end shopping (Oak Brook, Northbrook, Schaumburg) are also very desirable places to live. Is NWI trying to be like the North Shore? Not at all. But in order to continue to make an area attractive, we can no longer just pride ourselves on being "more affordable than Illinois"...we have to offer more.
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