U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Indiana > Northwest Indiana
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-21-2019, 12:39 PM
 
451 posts, read 256,658 times
Reputation: 668

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northwest Indiana View Post
Waterfront condos with Lake Michigan views going up in Michigan City



I really like this project and think it will be good for the city!

Some comments online, though, expressed the following concerns:
  • These will be unaffordable and likely just vacation condos for out-of-towners (read: Vacationers from Chicago-area)
  • These will not sell and then be converted to rentals
  • Michigan City needs to focus more on the blighted neighborhoods and develop more affordable housing (but not TOO affordable)

I always laugh when people complain about projects being unaffordable as well as TOO affordable. In Michigan City, there are PLENTY of options for middle-income folks to rent or buy a home in the city. The city needs to attract more higher-income residents and a larger tax base in order to thrive. Generally speaking in the midwest, the folks that tend to be the most "loyal" to the city are the folks that are either lower income and cannot afford or do not desire to leave their comfort zone or the highest-earning folks whom live in the most desirable neighborhoods and can be somewhat insulated from the ills of urban living. Everyone else usually will give up and flee when they can in order to get what they can from what is likely their largest life investment (their home) or because they see that they can move into a shiny new vinyl village on the outskirts or in another town for a decent price compared to buying an older home in the more urban area and having to fix it up.

With that being said, I do believe that once Michigan City is able to attract more higher-income long-term residents into the city proper (and not Michiana Shores) the city will continue to thrive. The risk of creating market-rate middle-income single-family housing in Michigan City is somewhat high when you have places like La Porte with a better school system not too far away as well as Chesterton, Valpo, and even Portage with better schools systems and closer to Chicago for better and higher paying career opportunities. I do think that it can be done though sooner than later. There is a townhome development in Michigan City called Suburban Estates that it quite affordable and decent for the area. I'm really rooting for MC!

On another note - I think the BIGGEST opportunity to attract growth will be demolishing and redeveloping the Marquette Mall area into a mixed-use development.

Thoughts?

Those "Washington Landing" lakefront condos architecturally speaking aren't urban at all and the building's location should have made the developers decrease the footprint and build vertical there to offer 360 degree views of the beach and city. That would have also given the option to add a second building if the project is a success. Height/views would have been the best selling point as the other side of the creek is lined with low-rise suburban style condos as well. Michigan City should hold developers to a certain standard to promote an urban landscape in the downtown.

Something like this image below is what the city should be striving for if it wants to promote world class luxury urban living. What is proposed is a value engineered, bland box that is asking way too much for what it is. $400k for a 1,000 sq. ft. unit is a bit much in such an ordinary building with no touch of upper-class design elements. I would expect a building like that in the 1990's.





I am rooting for Michigan City too but my belief in the city's officials has waned over the last year or so. Many high-profile projects that were promised to be coming to the market have been put on hold with no real transparency. The Eslton's Legacy upscale apartment complex on Pine St. still sits vacant with all the infrastructure improvements made by the city. The developer has to have trouble getting financing for this to make any sense. This project was announced as having broke ground in February of 2018. Over a year later and there's no activity on site. This is rather alarming for what was supposed to be a 4 building development.

The mid-rise/high-rise north-end hotel with a roof-top restaurant has stalled out with no announcements as the site sits empty to this day with a "You Are Beautiful" sign on the parcel. City officials said an announcement of the winning proposal would be announced in early December 2018. Here we are in late April of '19 and there's not been a single mention of the status. I fear they will regress here as well and select a suburban style building with wood frame and pre-cast finishes like every other hotel. The plan called for a modern urban building with a steel frame structure and concrete core and glass curtain wall like the Blue Chip hotel tower.

The South Shore double track project was supposed to have already begun construction and same story, all is quiet without any demolition taking place while it was supposed to be completed in 2020. Sadly here they are incorporating the old station facade into the new train station rather than building something new and unique. The mayor said the station would be "world class." With being limited by having to preserve the old facade I think "world class" is impossible at this point. They should have tried to recreate the magic of the Michigan City Library and went avant-garde with a Jeanne Gang style architect to build a gem for commuters to be greeted with and for pedestrians to photograph seeing they have put all their eggs in the tourism capital basket.

The city plaza was botched as they didn't originally demolish a dilapidated building that could have been incorporated into the site from the beginning. Now they are sending out bid requests for demolition that could have been done a year ago. I'm sure this will set back design/construction for a significant period.I view this plaza as a complete waste of resources. There is not the demographics here to fill up a corner in the downtown 300 days a year and peacefully assemble. Valparaiso is much more homogeneous and the gulf in social economics isn't near as drastic. You see this contrast play out with every night club or bar that opens in the city or even events at the beach.

In the end Michigan City is probably too large and too undeveloped and outdated to revitalize the city without major contributions from private investors that the city isn't seeing in any transformational way. There are a few business owners making investments in properties but most improvements are being spurred by TIF districts on behalf of the RDC that is moving at a snails pace and bringing in underwhelming results. The downtown despite all the investment is still a ghost-town that is too heavily focused on arts and crafts. There is no night-life scene there and young people have not come out in droves as anticipated. You have giant empty fields in the core and at the gateways of the city that haven't seen any investment. The business park at the corner of Franklin/94 is 8 years in the making and the Hampton Inn is the last business to open leaving three out of 12 sites developed and nothing on the horizon.

The downtown is also an embarrassment. What I am not hearing is building out the downtown and adding structures on all of the surface lots that exist throughout the area. The city needs to encourage luxury living in the downtown and some mixed use projects to add density and some height to the core. Michigan City has all the potential in the world but there's no vision and ambition from the leaders to realize what is within it's potential. They settle for mediocrity every time without failure.

Last edited by IronWright; 04-21-2019 at 01:01 PM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-25-2019, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Hammond
283 posts, read 475,778 times
Reputation: 293
IronWright, back when I first became aware of the double tracking project in 2016, the completion date was expected in 2021 with construction beginning in 2020. They are currently about a year+ behind that because the current leadership at the Federal Trade Administration has been much more difficult to work with than the previous administration. They have been asking for increasingly more information and funding commitments and now additional local funding before advancing the project. It is certainly not been quiet behind the scenes. There are a lot of political moves happening right now to get this moving.


Also, I strongly disagree that preserving the historic station facade will somehow make it any less of a welcoming entrance into downtown. Pieces of history like this are one of the primary reasons that people visit and live in small town downtowns like this, so I can only see this as being a positive to the community. I have nothing against high style avant garde architecture, but architectural tourism for stuff like that only gets you so far and probably would not justify the cost in any tangible way. And there's no reason why they have to be mutually exclusive either. You can preserve history AND do something unique that speaks to the current era.


I do think the big plaza on Franklin Street is a mistake. A plaza like that needs active buildings surrounding it to be very sucessful, so you either need to locate it around existing buildings with restaurants and the like or the market conditions need to be such that the plaza will spur the construction of new buildings around it. The first is certainly not true as the plaza is surrounded by parking and other empty lots on all sides. We will see once it is completed if the second can happen. A better short term investment probably would have been to stabilize the existing buildings and create the incentive for more businesses to move in.



As a nonresident, downtown is far from an embarrassment. I am impressed with how much they have accomplished in the last couple decades. I remember when there was literally nothing there but boarded up shops and the outlet mall.


All that said, I do think that the new condos proposed do look kind of like a 2 star budget hotel in the rendering, and I hope they are better quality than that. Also, this appears to be built right on top of the current Amtrak station and it's parking. Is that correct?

Last edited by Ned B; 04-25-2019 at 08:50 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-25-2019, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
7,009 posts, read 11,105,763 times
Reputation: 5769
It is not exactly related, but can anyone summarize the history as to why downtown Michigan City is surrounded by fields? The closest I've come to visiting downtown Michigan City is visiting Lakeshore Coffee by the outlet mall. I've driven through downtown, and it looks pretty dead. I'm assuming something used to be in the vacant lots that surround the core of downtown?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-27-2019, 07:39 AM
 
2,137 posts, read 5,105,063 times
Reputation: 1543
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronWright View Post
Those "Washington Landing" lakefront condos architecturally speaking aren't urban at all and the building's location should have made the developers decrease the footprint and build vertical there to offer 360 degree views of the beach and city. That would have also given the option to add a second building if the project is a success. Height/views would have been the best selling point as the other side of the creek is lined with low-rise suburban style condos as well. Michigan City should hold developers to a certain standard to promote an urban landscape in the downtown.

Something like this image below is what the city should be striving for if it wants to promote world class luxury urban living. What is proposed is a value engineered, bland box that is asking way too much for what it is. $400k for a 1,000 sq. ft. unit is a bit much in such an ordinary building with no touch of upper-class design elements. I would expect a building like that in the 1990's.





I am rooting for Michigan City too but my belief in the city's officials has waned over the last year or so. Many high-profile projects that were promised to be coming to the market have been put on hold with no real transparency. The Eslton's Legacy upscale apartment complex on Pine St. still sits vacant with all the infrastructure improvements made by the city. The developer has to have trouble getting financing for this to make any sense. This project was announced as having broke ground in February of 2018. Over a year later and there's no activity on site. This is rather alarming for what was supposed to be a 4 building development.

The mid-rise/high-rise north-end hotel with a roof-top restaurant has stalled out with no announcements as the site sits empty to this day with a "You Are Beautiful" sign on the parcel. City officials said an announcement of the winning proposal would be announced in early December 2018. Here we are in late April of '19 and there's not been a single mention of the status. I fear they will regress here as well and select a suburban style building with wood frame and pre-cast finishes like every other hotel. The plan called for a modern urban building with a steel frame structure and concrete core and glass curtain wall like the Blue Chip hotel tower.

The South Shore double track project was supposed to have already begun construction and same story, all is quiet without any demolition taking place while it was supposed to be completed in 2020. Sadly here they are incorporating the old station facade into the new train station rather than building something new and unique. The mayor said the station would be "world class." With being limited by having to preserve the old facade I think "world class" is impossible at this point. They should have tried to recreate the magic of the Michigan City Library and went avant-garde with a Jeanne Gang style architect to build a gem for commuters to be greeted with and for pedestrians to photograph seeing they have put all their eggs in the tourism capital basket.

The city plaza was botched as they didn't originally demolish a dilapidated building that could have been incorporated into the site from the beginning. Now they are sending out bid requests for demolition that could have been done a year ago. I'm sure this will set back design/construction for a significant period.I view this plaza as a complete waste of resources. There is not the demographics here to fill up a corner in the downtown 300 days a year and peacefully assemble. Valparaiso is much more homogeneous and the gulf in social economics isn't near as drastic. You see this contrast play out with every night club or bar that opens in the city or even events at the beach.

In the end Michigan City is probably too large and too undeveloped and outdated to revitalize the city without major contributions from private investors that the city isn't seeing in any transformational way. There are a few business owners making investments in properties but most improvements are being spurred by TIF districts on behalf of the RDC that is moving at a snails pace and bringing in underwhelming results. The downtown despite all the investment is still a ghost-town that is too heavily focused on arts and crafts. There is no night-life scene there and young people have not come out in droves as anticipated. You have giant empty fields in the core and at the gateways of the city that haven't seen any investment. The business park at the corner of Franklin/94 is 8 years in the making and the Hampton Inn is the last business to open leaving three out of 12 sites developed and nothing on the horizon.

The downtown is also an embarrassment. What I am not hearing is building out the downtown and adding structures on all of the surface lots that exist throughout the area. The city needs to encourage luxury living in the downtown and some mixed use projects to add density and some height to the core. Michigan City has all the potential in the world but there's no vision and ambition from the leaders to realize what is within it's potential. They settle for mediocrity every time without failure.
To be honest, I do agree that the design of the condos could be significantly better.l like the rendering you posted. I also agree that municipalities should not settle for mediocrity every time something is proposed. I suppose that they must have just gotten a little too excited at the prospect of this development just like I admittedly did. I have no skin in the game because I have never lived in a municipality that has gone through anything near the type of struggles with decline and disinvestment that cities like MC, Gary, and EC have and truly hope to see them thrive. I think the leaders may get scared if they have too stringent of requirements because it may drive developers away but on the other hand I do feel that for major projects they should not always have to compromise too much.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-09-2019, 04:36 PM
 
451 posts, read 256,658 times
Reputation: 668
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
It is not exactly related, but can anyone summarize the history as to why downtown Michigan City is surrounded by fields? The closest I've come to visiting downtown Michigan City is visiting Lakeshore Coffee by the outlet mall. I've driven through downtown, and it looks pretty dead. I'm assuming something used to be in the vacant lots that surround the core of downtown?
Memorial Hospital was torn down in the 90's along with some housing and that created a sprawling lot of grass on Pine St. between 4th and 6th in the downtown. There was also a multiple block housing project called "Harborside" that was demolished along Michigan Boulevard. Many homes were demolished on the west side and again it created more fields. The former police station and News Dispatch newspaper buildings were torn down on U.S. 12 to make way for a yet to happen high-rise hotel across from the courthouse and that gave birth to another field.

Added to all of that north Franklin especially, and the downtown in general has many, many surface lots. The city needs a lot of infill to create some density. They created a TOD district which gives them the ability to zone for potential mid-rise, mixed use developments and upscale multi-family housing within a mile radius of the train station on 11th st. which would possibly create a dense walkable downtown. They are projecting billions in private investment after the double tracking moves forward.

City officials have bantered about creating an entertainment district that would bring development to the gigantic north parking lot of the Lighthouse Mall that is the great gateway entering the city from the west. There's another downtown field I forgot to mention that sits at the southeast corner of the mall property. There used to be an old 4 story brick warehouse called "The Works" that had the Levi's store and other clothing shops along with some bars and restaurants but it was torn down and never replaced. It provided a nice contrast to the sleepy seaside cottage architecture of the mall.

There have been some positive improvements around the downtown but it is so lacking and underdeveloped that the progress over the years is barely scratching the surface.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-09-2019, 04:57 PM
 
451 posts, read 256,658 times
Reputation: 668
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned B View Post
IronWright, back when I first became aware of the double tracking project in 2016, the completion date was expected in 2021 with construction beginning in 2020. They are currently about a year+ behind that because the current leadership at the Federal Trade Administration has been much more difficult to work with than the previous administration. They have been asking for increasingly more information and funding commitments and now additional local funding before advancing the project. It is certainly not been quiet behind the scenes. There are a lot of political moves happening right now to get this moving.


Also, I strongly disagree that preserving the historic station facade will somehow make it any less of a welcoming entrance into downtown. Pieces of history like this are one of the primary reasons that people visit and live in small town downtowns like this, so I can only see this as being a positive to the community. I have nothing against high style avant garde architecture, but architectural tourism for stuff like that only gets you so far and probably would not justify the cost in any tangible way. And there's no reason why they have to be mutually exclusive either. You can preserve history AND do something unique that speaks to the current era.


I do think the big plaza on Franklin Street is a mistake. A plaza like that needs active buildings surrounding it to be very sucessful, so you either need to locate it around existing buildings with restaurants and the like or the market conditions need to be such that the plaza will spur the construction of new buildings around it. The first is certainly not true as the plaza is surrounded by parking and other empty lots on all sides. We will see once it is completed if the second can happen. A better short term investment probably would have been to stabilize the existing buildings and create the incentive for more businesses to move in.



As a nonresident, downtown is far from an embarrassment. I am impressed with how much they have accomplished in the last couple decades. I remember when there was literally nothing there but boarded up shops and the outlet mall.


All that said, I do think that the new condos proposed do look kind of like a 2 star budget hotel in the rendering, and I hope they are better quality than that. Also, this appears to be built right on top of the current Amtrak station and it's parking. Is that correct?


I think the downtown is an embarrassment in relation to what was promised by city leaders at this point. It's a graveyard most days of the week and there's no active street scene really anytime of the day. The $15 million spent on Artspace was supposedly justified by the street presence it would create with all the young artists out interacting in public and what not. Well there's those lofts and a "trendy" Mexican and Sushi restaurant next door and the block is lifeless. Somehow a plaza is going to magically activate the area.

As for the train station. I just don't feel that the facade is architecturally, historically or culturally relevant enough to justify spending over $1 million to preserve and incorporate it into a new station.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-07-2019, 11:03 PM
 
451 posts, read 256,658 times
Reputation: 668
Michigan City, 5th & Pine St.

$45 Million 10 story luxury apartment building with 120 units, 7,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail and an up-scale rooftop restaurant which will offer lake views. Designed by Dirk Lohan, groundbreaking is scheduled for March 2020. The city really stepped it up here from the proposed 4 story project that was supposed to be developed on Pine but fell through last year. They have followed through on their promise here with a building designed by a world class architect. You could build this in Chicago's West Loop/Fulton Market District and it would perfectly compliment the built environment. A+ on this one, urban, modern, relatively tall and high end materials. Now hopefully they really have the financing they claim and no more delays for the site which has been over 3 years in the making.

Pricing is between $900-$1,200 for 1 & 2 bedroom units.

Michigan city is still seeking a high-rise hotel for the former police department site a few blocks north and more mid-rise residential buildings along 11th St. and around the future South Shore train station as part of the double-tracking project after forming a T.O.D distrcit within a 1 mile radius of the station.


Last edited by IronWright; 12-08-2019 at 12:11 AM..
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 12-08-2019, 12:10 PM
 
2,137 posts, read 5,105,063 times
Reputation: 1543
Quote:
Originally Posted by IronWright View Post
Michigan City, 5th & Pine St.

$45 Million 10 story luxury apartment building with 120 units, 7,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail and an up-scale rooftop restaurant which will offer lake views. Designed by Dirk Lohan, groundbreaking is scheduled for March 2020. The city really stepped it up here from the proposed 4 story project that was supposed to be developed on Pine but fell through last year. They have followed through on their promise here with a building designed by a world class architect. You could build this in Chicago's West Loop/Fulton Market District and it would perfectly compliment the built environment. A+ on this one, urban, modern, relatively tall and high end materials. Now hopefully they really have the financing they claim and no more delays for the site which has been over 3 years in the making.

Pricing is between $900-$1,200 for 1 & 2 bedroom units.

Michigan city is still seeking a high-rise hotel for the former police department site a few blocks north and more mid-rise residential buildings along 11th St. and around the future South Shore train station as part of the double-tracking project after forming a T.O.D distrcit within a 1 mile radius of the station.
Now THIS is a project! I like it...a lot...

I like how the ground floor is commercial space and hope that some great tenants sign up. I also like the facade but I hope they ensure that high quality materials are used.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-01-2020, 06:34 AM
 
296 posts, read 539,518 times
Reputation: 185
https://www.thenewsdispatch.com/news...1bf1bcfb7.html

The new mayor says (in article linked above) that he is opposed to the double track line. I think MC has been headed in the right direction the past few years and I’m concerned about this Mayor’s vision. Should there be worry? Thoughts about this and future development?
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-03-2020, 08:47 AM
 
Location: Hammond
283 posts, read 475,778 times
Reputation: 293
Yeah, I don't know what he means about not seeing any progress on it in three years. The current schedule has construction beginning on this project in 3rd quarter next year. It seems like the approval to proceed to engineering will happen any day now, as we last heard in November that officials were expecting the official go ahead in 4-6 weeks. The project is already 2/3s funded as well, and I suspect that even if Michigan City could withdraw their funding, it would only represent a small portion of it. But with this already submitted to the federal government, I suspect that the funding commitments may be binding as well.



My guess is that Michigan City has little real power to stand in the way of this project, but they could effect it in places where the South Shore may need to expand or move their right of way (such as down 11th street)
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Indiana > Northwest Indiana

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top