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Old 03-25-2015, 12:45 PM
 
255 posts, read 407,205 times
Reputation: 248

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Quote:
Originally Posted by svillechris View Post
Fair enough and I certainly don't think Merrillville schools are terrible... they're not Gary or Hammond or East Chicago, but by no metric can we say they're high quality. I don't know where the "does not make you a better person" comes from, I never said anything of the sort.

When trying to determine the best spot to live and along with that, determining what schools a parent may want to send their child to, somewhere along the line you have to look at SOMETHING that gives you confidence that the school is doing well. I just don't see what that something is, with Merrillville. My personal views, that's all.

Also, knowing all too well that children are very influenced by their peers, why would I as a parent want to place my kids in a school system that has a high rate of kids from poverty-stricken families, that do not even do as well as a state average in school? If I could hand pick my kids' peers, that wouldn't be who I would pick, so why enroll my kids in a school corporation where that is more of the norm? I would have to question my own parenting skills if I made that choice for my kids.

Getting back to the original question... these are all reasons why many people immediately cross Merrillville off their list of potential towns to live in and raise their family in.
Was not trying to accuse you of saying anything of that sort, just people on here imply certain things when talking about Merrillville. If people (with more money) invested in the inner ring suburbs and central cities, we could make all of NWI better, along with infrastructure improvements in edge towns instead of more ugly car dependent sprawl that in the long term only benefits the wealthy. Reinvestment in Merrillville will make it a better place, it will just take a combination of the public and private sectors, along with vibrant young minds to give the town a real identity and spur Pirate Pride once again.
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Old 03-25-2015, 12:55 PM
 
811 posts, read 2,323,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valpofan11 View Post
Was not trying to accuse you of saying anything of that sort, just people on here imply certain things when talking about Merrillville. If people (with more money) invested in the inner ring suburbs and central cities, we could make all of NWI better, along with infrastructure improvements in edge towns instead of more ugly car dependent sprawl that in the long term only benefits the wealthy. Reinvestment in Merrillville will make it a better place, it will just take a combination of the public and private sectors, along with vibrant young minds to give the town a real identity and spur Pirate Pride once again.

What incentive do I or anyone else have to invest in Merrillville? Just to be a nice guy and hope that things get better decades down the road while, in the mean time, my kids may be receiving a sub-par education and I'm living in a town that isn't the safest option?

Reinvestment to make a town a better place is a nice warm and fuzzy thought, but from a practical standpoint, there has to be incentives to investors and families alike to consider buying into a less-than-stellar town. As a parent, I wouldn't invest in either, but as an investor, I would invest in Hammond way before Merrillville. As far as the inner-ring suburbs... if you're talking about Merrillville being an inner-ring suburb of Chicago, I don't think it is. Hammond yes, Merrillville, no. If the inner-ring and proximity to the city is important to someone, why not just live in a nicer suburb with better schools, lower crime, and brighter future AND is closer to Chicago than Merrillville? Munster, Highland, Dyer, Schererville all fit the bill there.


If Merrillville was actually a good investment and had favorable prospects for down the road, you would have already seen substantial investment/reinvestment. But, it doesn't, and that's just the harsh reality.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:06 PM
 
255 posts, read 407,205 times
Reputation: 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by svillechris View Post
What incentive do I or anyone else have to invest in Merrillville? Just to be a nice guy and hope that things get better decades down the road while, in the mean time, my kids may be receiving a sub-par education and I'm living in a town that isn't the safest option?

Reinvestment to make a town a better place is a nice warm and fuzzy thought, but from a practical standpoint, there has to be incentives to investors and families alike to consider buying into a less-than-stellar town. As a parent, I wouldn't invest in either, but as an investor, I would invest in Hammond way before Merrillville. As far as the inner-ring suburbs... if you're talking about Merrillville being an inner-ring suburb of Chicago, I don't think it is. Hammond yes, Merrillville, no. If the inner-ring and proximity to the city is important to someone, why not just live in a nicer suburb with better schools, lower crime, and brighter future AND is closer to Chicago than Merrillville? Munster, Highland, Dyer, Schererville all fit the bill there.


If Merrillville was actually a good investment and had favorable prospects for down the road, you would have already seen substantial investment/reinvestment. But, it doesn't, and that's just the harsh reality.
You do have good points and yes there are what many would say are nicer suburbs. The incentive in my eyes is redevelopment into sustainability for the long term future. Mass transit and green development, that encourages vibrancy and diversity. Sustainable redevelopment in Merrillville is a tough sell, but a person willing to rise up to the tall challenge could do it. I think everyone on here does not want any town in NWI to get worse, so I feel the obligation to make ALL of NWI better, not just where I live currently. I understand your point of view completely, but we can agree to disagree about this whole topic.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:11 PM
 
811 posts, read 2,323,372 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valpofan11 View Post
You do have good points and yes there are what many would say are nicer suburbs. The incentive in my eyes is redevelopment into sustainability for the long term future. Mass transit and green development, that encourages vibrancy and diversity. Sustainable redevelopment in Merrillville is a tough sell, but a person willing to rise up to the tall challenge could do it. I think everyone on here does not want any town in NWI to get worse, so I feel the obligation to make ALL of NWI better, not just where I live currently. I understand your point of view completely, but we can agree to disagree about this whole topic.
If you feel the obligation, then go ahead and move to Merrillville or invest in properties in Merrillville. Stop back in and post updates in 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years and let us know if you're happy with your decision. Best wishes.
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Old 03-25-2015, 01:19 PM
 
255 posts, read 407,205 times
Reputation: 248
Quote:
Originally Posted by svillechris View Post
If you feel the obligation, then go ahead and move to Merrillville or invest in properties in Merrillville. Stop back in and post updates in 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years and let us know if you're happy with your decision. Best wishes.
I feel the obligation no doubt. And thank you, if I end up in Merrillville, I will let all of you guys know about my experiences.
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Old 03-25-2015, 11:10 PM
 
2,155 posts, read 5,450,544 times
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Default "Inner-Ring"

The "Inner-Ring" suburban areas of NWI would be considered Munster, Highland, Griffith, Merrillville, Hobart, and Lake Station.

Out of all of these places, my investment would be in Munster or Highland. Why? Well, not only are the schools (especially Munster) much better than the other ones listed, but the towns themselves have proven to be very stable especially whilst being mostly developed. They are attracting lots of redevelopment and Munster has been focusing on transit-oriented development and earmarking land for that...all we need is the transit! The property values remain high and strong as do the home ownership rates. Despite the financial issues that the school district is having, is still remains the highest rated and performing district overall in NWI and consistently ranked amongst the top in the state. There are few places left to build so people are tearing down old homes to build new. Add in the fact that you can get to the city in 25-40 mins (depending on where in town) and this is a commuters dream already, then with the train extension, it will be even better. Healthcare needs? Munster is pretty much the hub of healthcare in NWI...almost any type of specialist that you can think of is within a 3 to 5 min drive of most Munster residents and the hospital is centrally located in town.

When I look at Merrillville, the main thing is that the mall is nearby and convenient. Also, if you work in Merrillville, Gary, or Crown Point, then Merrillville in convenient to live in. However, it is NOT convenient to get to Chicago. And while Crown Point isn't more convenient either, it at least offers great schools, still affordable housing, and an acceptable crime rate. Also, again, with the exception of some of the low rent apartments, Merrillville is not too cheap of a place. If I have $300,000 to spend on a home and it is between an older quad-level in Munster, a newer basic two-story home in Crown Point, or an executive style two-story in Merrillville, which one do you think I would pick? I would pick the Munster one because that home is most likely going to increase in value. The CP home will probably be stable as well but I would have to contend with the many other new homes going in too if I were trying to sell. Merrillville? The value just is not there. As svillechris said, Merrillville was always a blue collar town. Merrillville was only a "go-to" town for the majority working class or middle class white residents who were fleeing Gary in the 1960s-70s. Today, Gary is a "go-to" town for the majority of lower-middle, working class, middle class Black residents fleeing Gary or Chicago. There are some upper middle class families in Gary as well. They usually can afford the high taxes in neighborhoods like Miller and desire to stay in Gary. However, I have known some of these families who move out and Merrillville is not on the radar. They look at Crown Point, Valpo, or maybe Schererville as "move-up" places where they can a decent newer house. The schools in Merrillville are not good and are not very convenient at all for even the neighborhoods that are nicer. Look at White Hawk CC. The lots in the Merrillville district part are going for about $45,000 for .33 acre or so. On the CP side, the same lot size is closer to $75,000+. Financially, my investment is less secure within the Merrillville district.

Now, also this...Merrillville is not nearly as diverse as people want to think. It is an area that has been transitioning from a "white school" to a "black school". It will not remain diverse in the coming years. A diverse school in my opinion is a school like "Oak Park-River Forest" or "Evanston Township" where racial and ethnic diversity has been mostly maintained. Munster is more diverse than Merrillville in my opinion and is inclusive of everyone. Now economically, there is more segregation in Munster, I will say that.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Valparaiso, IN
275 posts, read 437,640 times
Reputation: 203
Default Commerical Hub

Whatever happened to the idea of drawing the larger Commercial Organizations to create the Corporate Business Park to help build this area? Merrillville seems to be a rather good location being close to I-94, the TollRoad, and being on I-65/Rt 30 and being an established commercial hub for retail already. I still think drawing in larger corporations with low taxes to call it home would benefit NWI as a whole and create a new persona for Merrillville to flourish. Drawing in the Multi-story commercial developers and draw in some big name corporations for their offices could feed gobs of money to fix some of the infrastructure problems you're talking about.

Granted, this may be a matter of which comes first: the chicken or the egg. You almost NEED that rail/bus infrastructure you're talking about to connect it to the South Shoreline to get that inner-ring feel to Chicago in order to draw these big name companies, but you may not be able to fund/plan such an endeavor successfully without the big name companies wanting to be/stay here.

This is surely a multi-decade game plan, which many people wouldn't be able to wrap their head around. NWI does seem capable of having an Oakbrook type of commercial hub'ness to it, however picking the spot is surely going to be the most challenging.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:04 PM
 
2,155 posts, read 5,450,544 times
Reputation: 1571
One thing that I forgot to add that iidreamtheaterii touched on is the corporate aspect. I have almost imagined I-65 (Merrillville/Crown Point) as being lined with big shiny corporate building such as that you see along I-290 in the Schaumburg area or I-88 near Downers Grove.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Valparaiso, IN
275 posts, read 437,640 times
Reputation: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
One thing that I forgot to add that iidreamtheaterii touched on is the corporate aspect. I have almost imagined I-65 (Merrillville/Crown Point) as being lined with big shiny corporate building such as that you see along I-290 in the Schaumburg area or I-88 near Downers Grove.
Almost being the key word there... Without the vision, there's no reason to assume it could happen.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:09 PM
 
2,155 posts, read 5,450,544 times
Reputation: 1571
Quote:
Originally Posted by iidreamtheaterii View Post
Almost being the key word there... Without the vision, there's no reason to assume it could happen.
You know...i was typing on my phone and i meant to type "always" instead of "almost"!
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