Mayor Thomas M. McDermott Jr.

Northwest Indiana Offers Quality of Place

CATEGORY: Mayor's Office, News, Planning and Development, Speck


From Crain's Chicago Business:

"The City of Hammond, another Northwest Indiana community, commissioned a study on quality of place and is making improvements based on the results.

Downtown Hammond had its challenges. It had beautiful urban multi-story buildings of granite and marble, but the area had been neglected. A walkability study was conducted in 2018 of downtown Hammond by an urban planning expert.

Last November, a master plan was unveiled, and many of its recommendations are now being implemented. For example, the main street Hohman Avenue, which felt more like a four-lane thoroughfare, is being converted into a two-lane street with a landscaped median and parking. A plaza will feature a fountain.

"We want to create a walkable place," says Anne Anderson, director of economic development at the City of Hammond. She credits much of the progress to the leadership of long-time Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr., who initiated the study and has been a passionate champion of the area.

Downtown Hammond will serve as the new gateway transfer station as part of the West Lake Corridor South Shore commuter rail line expansion running from the communities of Munster/Dyer to Chicago. The improvements are drawing the interest of residential developers.

Anderson expects new residential projects to be built downtown on unused parking lots and infill sites. Older office buildings will be repurposed. "It will be nice to see those upper stories lit up at night," Anderson says."

View the entire article here.