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Old 01-03-2017, 09:11 PM
 
435 posts, read 385,131 times
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Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
Perhaps you are right, but were any of those communities actually ever "really nice" in and of themselves or were they "nice because it was White"? If the places you listed were all really truly desirable places to begin with, then they would not have declined as hard as they have. With the exception of Chicago and Riverdale, most of those places grew due to White flight from Chicago and many further out places in the southwest suburbs and NWI have grown due to White flight from those suburbs. As far as Merrillville goes, was it ever "really nice" or just "nicer than Gary?". Look at the post I made above about a place being shiny, cheap, and new. That is what Merrillville was and taking into consideration that Merrillville was established in 1971 due to a new law allowing for its creation, this is how Merrillville grew. Merrillville in and of itself was never truly a "top community". It just allowed people a place to go get new housing. That's essentially it. As the town grew, desirability did not grow with it and when the perception became that the community was looking tired and "allowing undesirables" (read: Blacks were moving in), then there was a SHARP decrease in Whites moving in, followed by a decrease in Whites sending kids to the public schools there (as the area is still generally safe but the schools--where the future demographics of an area are typically seen first--started to decline), and then followed by White flight from the community overall.

You ask "after seeing this occur over and over and over, you suggest that white people should just suck it up and stick around?" and my answer is "If they truly desire to see their community thrive, then yes". The fact is that Whites outnumber any other group in the area. If they stay put ad reinvest in a community, it is likely that values would rise which would discourage low quality development and encourage higher quality development. This alone would provide a financial barrier to entering the area. This is one of the main differences between a place like Munster and a place like Merrillville. Areas in Munster were getting older and susceptible to becoming blighted. Instead of fleeing again (as a lot of the growth in Munster was due to south suburban White flight and some Hammond White flight), residents demanded to see growth and redevelopment in town and the town demanded that new developments be of high quality and upscale. Now look at the town. Aside from some school funding issues (even though the district remains highly rated with the highest rated high school consistently in Northwest Indiana), there is a lot of redevelopment going on and most of it is upscale. Residents overall are staying. The decline in some of the White population is mainly due to older Whites dying off and not being replaced fast enough by younger Whites (primarily due to financial barriers). Some folks may see this as a loss but in the long run, while a city like Crown Point may have attracted that young White couple, will they stay and support the city in its highs and lows or will they "flee" to Hebron and Lowell? It appears like the latter is more likely. Look at Merrillville. Merrillville has seen the most dramatic suburban demographic changes out of any area in NWI. Most of the residents in Merrillville were from Gary and that is the case now. Most of the residents in Crown Point were from Merrillville. Many of the folks moving to Lowell and Hebron now are from Merrillville and Crown Point many of whom from CP are moving "in anticipation of change" as the city has "lost its small-town charm".

This is not the perfect example, but I'm sure you know about the steps that Oak Park, IL took to stop White Flight. And it pretty much worked (and yes, I am also aware that Oak Park also had more desirable housing than CP to begin with and higher income and educated populace).

Now, having said all of this...my overall opinion is that while a lot of the responsibility lies on current residents AND municipal leaders to make the town as desirable as possible overall (and not just through implementing strict commercial design standards on ONE corridor in the city), just as much responsibility lies on new residents to contribute to the towns desirability. I also do believe that if more and more people introduced themselves to their neighbors, a lot of issues would be reduced with knowing that people are not only watching out for one another but also watching one another.
Bravo on the bolded. Funny thing is, when you are a good neighbor it tends to be contagious. I hope Crown Point takes more the Munster mentality than the Merrillville mentality. CP has the best little historic downtown area in the region and you can still work there and commute to Chicago. Lowell, well in my opinion, that is not in striking distance. It is just so far out there.
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Old 01-03-2017, 09:41 PM
 
2,138 posts, read 5,106,398 times
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Originally Posted by jvr789 View Post
Bravo on the bolded. Funny thing is, when you are a good neighbor it tends to be contagious. I hope Crown Point takes more the Munster mentality than the Merrillville mentality. CP has the best little historic downtown area in the region and you can still work there and commute to Chicago. Lowell, well in my opinion, that is not in striking distance. It is just so far out there.
Not only is Lowell so far out, but it is not nearly as desirable as far as schools or aesthetically as Crown Point. Sure, you get more land in Lowell but that is about it. The older neighborhoods in Lowell look so worn out and in some cases, rundown and the downtown (which is basically just some buildings on either side of Rt. 2) is on life-support. The new home options in Lowell overall are just as basic as some of the lower tier new housing in Crown Point with few options for upscale/executive style homes. If the south shore were extended to Lowell, it would have a better chance at being more desirable, in my opinion...on the other hand, this is NWI we are talking about...for many folks, the idea of being "further away from the blacks" is the only desirability that folks need!
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Old 01-03-2017, 11:11 PM
 
Location: Humboldt Park, Chicago
2,686 posts, read 7,558,248 times
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Default Will affluence expand in NWI?

Will areas like Munster become affluent enough that this affluence expands to surrounding communities such as Highland or will decline of Merriville expand further?

Building cheap, affordable housing is a long term recipe for disaster in suburban areas prone to white flight.

The only sure fire way to prevent white flight is to price out the riff raff. This happens either thru gentrification in the city or just building expensive houses to start with.

Munster can be the next Oak Park, especially as more and more folks flee Illinois because of taxes. However, it will never be as close to Chicago and probably not as attractive for those who can afford Oak Park. Also, maybe not as diverse (Oak Park is 22 percent black-which has been decreasing as Oak Park has become more affluent in last 20 years).

Munster is already very much a smaller Orland Park.

Oak Park btw is becoming the next Evanston, with 20 and 21 story high end apartment buildings and a number of other high end multi-unit residential buildings (1000 new units this year in a town with 53k people-even les diversity with these new units as they average 3000 per month). I am hopeful this will help keep taxes in check.

Still, there are more and more people like me who can afford to live in areas like Oak Park but are tired of seeing our taxes go up. This year they are proposing a school referendum which will up our taxes $70 for every $1,000 you pay in taxes. For most of us that means our taxes would go up $700 to $1,400 each year(taxes average 10-20k in desirable parts of Oak Park).

Crown Point is still affordable compared to Munster and I fear that the riff raff from Gary will continue to go south from Merrilville into Crown Point. Not much riff raff from Hammond is flowing into Munster.

Riff raff from west side of Chicago bypassed affluent Oak Park and River Forest and infected formerly decent (but affordable) areas like broadview, Beverly, Bellwood and now Westchester.
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Old 01-05-2017, 03:38 PM
 
253 posts, read 335,234 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Humboldt1 View Post
Will areas like Munster become affluent enough that this affluence expands to surrounding communities such as Highland or will decline of Merriville expand further?

Building cheap, affordable housing is a long term recipe for disaster in suburban areas prone to white flight.

The only sure fire way to prevent white flight is to price out the riff raff. This happens either thru gentrification in the city or just building expensive houses to start with.

Munster can be the next Oak Park, especially as more and more folks flee Illinois because of taxes. However, it will never be as close to Chicago and probably not as attractive for those who can afford Oak Park. Also, maybe not as diverse (Oak Park is 22 percent black-which has been decreasing as Oak Park has become more affluent in last 20 years).

Munster is already very much a smaller Orland Park.

Oak Park btw is becoming the next Evanston, with 20 and 21 story high end apartment buildings and a number of other high end multi-unit residential buildings (1000 new units this year in a town with 53k people-even les diversity with these new units as they average 3000 per month). I am hopeful this will help keep taxes in check.

Still, there are more and more people like me who can afford to live in areas like Oak Park but are tired of seeing our taxes go up. This year they are proposing a school referendum which will up our taxes $70 for every $1,000 you pay in taxes. For most of us that means our taxes would go up $700 to $1,400 each year(taxes average 10-20k in desirable parts of Oak Park).

Crown Point is still affordable compared to Munster and I fear that the riff raff from Gary will continue to go south from Merrilville into Crown Point. Not much riff raff from Hammond is flowing into Munster.

Riff raff from west side of Chicago bypassed affluent Oak Park and River Forest and infected formerly decent (but affordable) areas like broadview, Beverly, Bellwood and now Westchester.
I keep telling people that Crown Point would see a huge influx of (middle class) blacks if Merrillville had a span of multiple shootings/violent crimes during a short amount of time. Thankfully, this has not happened in Merrillville yet. Crown Point & Winfield continue to build vinyl villages, so we will see how things are in 10-15 years.

Also, south Hammond is still in the process of diversifying, with Hispanics growing there the fastest. Hispanics quietly make up 22.5% of School Town of Munster's enrollment.
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Old 01-05-2017, 04:59 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
6,477 posts, read 5,522,817 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valpofan11 View Post
Crown Point & Winfield continue to build vinyl villages, so we will see how things are in 10-15 years.
This has been mentioned a few times and I agree. It's also the main reason we decided against moving to NWI. As soon as I saw all those low budget homes/townhomes going up, I said, uh no way are we moving here. I've seen this movie before and it doesn't end well...
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Old 01-29-2017, 07:13 AM
 
2,138 posts, read 5,106,398 times
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Default Commuter Bus Service to Chicago

Crown Point meeting addresses bus service to Chicago

This would be modeled after the ChicaGO DASH service from Valpo to Chicago. I think this would be successful in Crown Point, possibly even more so than in Valpo as there are more city commuters in CP and although it is closer to the city, it is still quite a distance which adds to the justification of this service.

I also think that if the Broadway Metro Express (coming this year) is extended to 109th, there could be an express bus starting at 109th and going straight up broadway to the Metro Center South Shore station to serve commuters whom still want to take the train. That express bus would probably make an additional stop at 61st as well before continuing to the Metro Center.

Here is the the press release that revealed the name and selected alignment: Broadway Metro Express Announcement

Here is the site for the overall "Livable Broadway" plan: Livable Broadway + Broadway Metro Express

Last edited by Northwest Indiana; 01-29-2017 at 07:26 AM..
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Hammond
283 posts, read 476,102 times
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^All good steps in the right direction to make the area more desirable to commuters who (like me) do not want to drive downtown everyday, spending hundreds a month on parking and sitting behind the wheel in traffic.
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Old 03-23-2017, 05:47 AM
 
2,138 posts, read 5,106,398 times
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Default Teardowns

Builders create own urban renewal trend in Region

This is definitely good news for Crown Point. Areas that still have room to grow but also see redevelopment at their core tend to be more stable than areas where the core essentially rots out in favor of the outlying area. If more of this happens, it would definitely be key to help staving off most of any decline. Munster has seen success with infill and teardowns. Definitely wish the same for Crown Point! The amount of folks out there who want a new home close to a walkable/downtown area has increased.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Hammond
283 posts, read 476,102 times
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I agree that continued redevelopment efforts in and around city downtowns is very important for maintaining a healthy city, but I sometimes wince at the teardown articles that advocate demolishing things just because they are old and that new buildings are much better. Redevelopment has to be done sparingly and carefully to maintain the character of historic neighborhoods, which is just as much of a draw for people to areas as "newness is." I'm not saying that we are anywhere near that point, but certainly something to watch out for.
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Old 03-31-2017, 10:41 AM
 
51 posts, read 61,662 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned B View Post
I agree that continued redevelopment efforts in and around city downtowns is very important for maintaining a healthy city, but I sometimes wince at the teardown articles that advocate demolishing things just because they are old and that new buildings are much better. Redevelopment has to be done sparingly and carefully to maintain the character of historic neighborhoods, which is just as much of a draw for people to areas as "newness is." I'm not saying that we are anywhere near that point, but certainly something to watch out for.
Agreed. New homes can be built on any open lot, but you can't get back an old home. Once you tear it down, it's gone forever.

I also hate when this is presented as being more environmentally friendly because newer homes are often more energy efficient. However, by doing this you're going to send all of the components made to build that old home to the landfill, and then use a bunch of energy and resources to produce new drywall, windows, lumber, etc. The "greenest" home is one that is already standing.
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