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Old 09-28-2018, 11:25 AM
 
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Michigan City is undergoing a massive public and private economic investment and have plans to redevelop the entire city and especially grow and urbanize the downtown.

Here is a rendering of Elston's Legacy luxury apartments. The project is 4 buildings between 5th and 6th streets on Pine.



Here is a link to the larger image.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/164924...posted-public/

I think they are the most urban and modern housing developments in comparison to similar projects in Valpo, Portage and Crown Point. They remind me of the area around 16th and Halsted in Chicago.

There is the new $260 million Fransiscan Hospital on I-94 that is near complete.



Here is an early rendering for a 15 story hotel from Hithcock Design Group on the former police dept. and News Dispatch site. They are currently selecting a master developer to award the bid to and choose the final design. The stated goal is for a mixed use mid/high rise and a hotel with lake views and a rumored rooftop restaurant.



Other exciting developments are the new South Shore train station on 11th St. that is said to be "state of the art" with raised platforms and the city has designated a TOD District within a one mile radius of the new station. Plans stated by the mayor are 5 to 10 story mixed use buildings along 11th and throughout the downtown.

The city is definitely booming and the south end is expected to explode with the hospital's arrival. From a retail/commercial perspective, Holiday Inn has announced a 90 room four story hotel across the street on Pahs Rd.... Popeyes, Discount Tire, Centier, Hardee's and a popular liquor store are all building along the south Franklin corridor.

South of 94 developers have announced 2 hotels, medical offices, a national travel center and restaurants are all coming to the South West corner of the interchange next to the old landfill site. The city/county have invested $1.5 Million to allow for utilities and water to extend to the site.

Hitchcock is also designing a $6 million civic plaza to host events in the downtown 240 days a year and a new entrance/gateway to Washington Park with a traffic circle and other upgrades totaling $5 million.

Last edited by IronWright; 09-28-2018 at 12:46 PM..
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:00 PM
 
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Here is the larger image of the Elston's Legacy project under construction in downtown Michigan City.


I forgot to mention that another major development taking place is the annexation of 500 acres near U.S. 20 and 35 near the airport. Plans are to build a 300 acre business park with flex warehouses and 200 acres of new middle class and high-end homes which the city desperately needs. The housing stock is outdated and more upscale homes need to be introduced to the market soon if the city is serious about becoming a regional powerhouse.

Last edited by IronWright; 09-28-2018 at 01:09 PM..
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Old 09-28-2018, 01:51 PM
 
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Interesting developments. I hope things go well for Michigan City. I visit fairly frequently while in SW Michigan.


BTW The density of the University Village area of Chicago along Halsted is far different -- https://goo.gl/maps/dPBu3XiAzwQ2
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Old 09-28-2018, 03:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chet everett View Post
Interesting developments. I hope things go well for Michigan City. I visit fairly frequently while in SW Michigan.


BTW The density of the University Village area of Chicago along Halsted is far different -- https://goo.gl/maps/dPBu3XiAzwQ2
I wasn't comparing density, I was only saying the design of the apartment building looks like something that would fit in well near 16th and Halsted (just what immediately came to mind when seeing it) or any number of neighborhoods really as opposed to the highly suburban styles that have been built in Valpo and Portgae.

Valpo: Uptown East




Portage: Founder's Square




The design is much more urban and modern to me. I think the Redevelopment Commission did well with the developer to ensure a higher level of design aesthetics. They didn't do the multi-colored/material facade fad to give the fake multiple buildings look like Portage and The Valpo buildings are minimalist boxes without much detail.

I think Michigan City's housing development is next level for the area by comparison and what one would expect in a modern urban setting. These look better than the low-rise retail/housing buildings South Bend has built around Notre Dame in my opinion as well.

As for density, there is an empty adjacent lot about twice the size as the one these buildings are being built on where the city is planning dense mixed-use projects and possible mid-rises along with rowhomes/townhouse are being discussed for that area. The sprawling lots across the street between 4th and 5th are now for sale where single story medical offices have sat for decades. It has always been a gross under-utilization of prime land. These will surely be bought and demolished to make way for mixed-use development. This is all zoned T.O.D. now so who knows what's possible with the coming train station a few blocks away..
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Old 09-29-2018, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
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In several ways Michigan City reminds me of a smaller South Bend, both rust belt cities with a fair amount of urban blight, similar demographics, and similar crime problems. Now it seems both cities are trying very hard to redevelop themselves. I only visit Michigan City 3 maybe 4 times a year, but I'm rooting for their revival.
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Old 09-29-2018, 06:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IronWright View Post
They didn't do the multi-colored/material facade fad to give the fake multiple buildings look like Portage and The Valpo buildings are minimalist boxes without much detail. .

Valpo's Uptown East is VU's student housing.
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Old 09-29-2018, 08:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
In several ways Michigan City reminds me of a smaller South Bend, both rust belt cities with a fair amount of urban blight, similar demographics, and similar crime problems. Now it seems both cities are trying very hard to redevelop themselves. I only visit Michigan City 3 maybe 4 times a year, but I'm rooting for their revival.

This is spot-on. I have always viewed Michigan City as smaller version of South Bend. It is definitely the most urban small-city with "big-city-feel" potential of the similarly sized area cities in it's class. It has huge potential to become a regional tourist powerhouse. With the South Shore Double Track Project reducing travel time to Chicago to 55/60 minutes down from 1.5 hours the city becomes a competitor with major Chicago suburbs. The new train station and T.O.D zoning should be a complete game changer for the downtown core over the coming years.

Hopefully the final design the city chooses from the 3 finalists for the mixed-use development that will be announced in December will stick to the suggestion from Hitchcock Design Group to build a 4 story retail/parking podium with a 10 story hotel/condo tower as the sketch above depicts. Some officials in the city lack vision and are ultra conservative. I fear this may end up a 6-7 story Hilton or something drastically underwhelming from the proposals and stated goals of the city.
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Old 09-30-2018, 03:50 AM
 
Location: Mishawaka, Indiana
7,009 posts, read 11,105,763 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronWright View Post
This is spot-on. I have always viewed Michigan City as smaller version of South Bend. It is definitely the most urban small-city with "big-city-feel" potential of the similarly sized area cities in it's class. It has huge potential to become a regional tourist powerhouse. With the South Shore Double Track Project reducing travel time to Chicago to 55/60 minutes down from 1.5 hours the city becomes a competitor with major Chicago suburbs. The new train station and T.O.D zoning should be a complete game changer for the downtown core over the coming years.

Hopefully the final design the city chooses from the 3 finalists for the mixed-use development that will be announced in December will stick to the suggestion from Hitchcock Design Group to build a 4 story retail/parking podium with a 10 story hotel/condo tower as the sketch above depicts. Some officials in the city lack vision and are ultra conservative. I fear this may end up a 6-7 story Hilton or something drastically underwhelming from the proposals and stated goals of the city.

South Bend is currently weighing its options on trying to reduce travel time from South Bend to Chicago to 90 minutes via the South Shore, it's said that is the "magic number" to be within commuting distance.

With the recent renaissance in downtown South Bend, the Mayor and his administration are actively pursuing to relocate the South shore station from the airport to downtown, right next to the Cubs 1-A baseball stadium, at an estimated cost of $25 million, far more than the city can afford on its own, kind of a lofty goal, but a good one.

It's interesting to hear how excited other cities along the South Shore are becoming over the double track. Indiana has long been viewed as a cheaper alternative than the Illinois suburbs, but so far very few will commute from LaPorte or even St Joseph county. I'm very curious to see if this really does attract people to the most eastern reaches of the South Shore.

In other Michigan City news, I recently read that NIPSCO is going to close the coal fired powerplant on the Lakeshore by next year.

I've always thought that looming industrial smokestack next to the beach at Washington Park really took away from a pleasant beach feel, and made Michigan City look more industrial and gritty. The redevelopment options for the coal powerplant are limitless . I often feel like Michigan City could become more of a tourist hub with it's beach in a similar way to St Joseph Michigan and the Silver Beach area. Maybe not quite to their level, but Michigan City's beachfront felt very untapped from a tourist standpoint. It will be interesting to see how things change over the next 10 years.
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Old 09-30-2018, 03:22 PM
 
451 posts, read 256,658 times
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Originally Posted by ColdAilment View Post
South Bend is currently weighing its options on trying to reduce travel time from South Bend to Chicago to 90 minutes via the South Shore, it's said that is the "magic number" to be within commuting distance.

With the recent renaissance in downtown South Bend, the Mayor and his administration are actively pursuing to relocate the South shore station from the airport to downtown, right next to the Cubs 1-A baseball stadium, at an estimated cost of $25 million, far more than the city can afford on its own, kind of a lofty goal, but a good one.

It's interesting to hear how excited other cities along the South Shore are becoming over the double track. Indiana has long been viewed as a cheaper alternative than the Illinois suburbs, but so far very few will commute from LaPorte or even St Joseph county. I'm very curious to see if this really does attract people to the most eastern reaches of the South Shore.

In other Michigan City news, I recently read that NIPSCO is going to close the coal fired powerplant on the Lakeshore by next year.

I've always thought that looming industrial smokestack next to the beach at Washington Park really took away from a pleasant beach feel, and made Michigan City look more industrial and gritty. The redevelopment options for the coal powerplant are limitless . I often feel like Michigan City could become more of a tourist hub with it's beach in a similar way to St Joseph Michigan and the Silver Beach area. Maybe not quite to their level, but Michigan City's beachfront felt very untapped from a tourist standpoint. It will be interesting to see how things change over the next 10 years.
The Nipsco power plant will not close for 10 years. They are investing in wind and solar energy. I wish they were demolishing it next year. As you said the possibilities are endless. A whole new modern downtown could be built on the lakefront.

South Bend's booming from what I've read and the redevelopment goals are on the scale I would love to see Michigan City strive for. The South Shore moving to downtown would be a magnificent investment. South Bend has a lot of surface lots in the downtown that are perfect for dense development.

Before the recession in '08 Lohan Anderson proposed three 24 story high rises along the Trail Creek Corridor and townhouses along a riverwalk behind the Blue Chip casino on Michigan Blvd. Sadly the plan collapsed when the city couldn't negotiate the move of the Blocksom factory who fought the deal and held out then the recession hit and it still sits on the prime location until this day. This is why efforts have shifted to the north end and the downtown core. City leaders/officials have not attempted to develop anything in the city on this scale since. There has been plenty of talk by the Mayor and commissioners about mid-rises being developed in certain areas but I believe high rises could be possible with the right planning/focus/marketing and developers etc. etc. As I said though we do not have the visionaries to fully realize our potential and strive for the excellence of the Lohan plan. There are too many conservatives involved in the planning that stifle would be relative "mega projects" for the city.

At a Plan Commision meeting when the redevelopment of the Marquette Mall property was discussed a couple commissioners mentioned that it would be a fabulous opportunity to include a couple high-rises as part of a new "city-center" and the director immediately said the zoning will not allow for it as they do not want to build out of scale for the neighborhood but "some" height would be allowed. They are developing another large parcel near the lakefront, the "Woodruff Property" where the same people started the announcement with all the development will be low-rise in nature. They are letting golden opportunities slip by and settling for mediocrity in my opinion. They have also balked at the proposed 200' north-end hotel saying it may become a different development altogether. Either way it's definitely exciting times as the city is making real investments and actual progress is finally taking place.





Last edited by IronWright; 09-30-2018 at 04:07 PM..
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Old 04-14-2019, 06:00 AM
 
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Thumbs up New Waterfront Condos - Washington Landing

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?
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Michigan City, In. Development Thread...-5cad2c9f834bc.image.jpg  
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