Urban Land Institute Conducts Panel on Downtown Hammond


In its third and final presentation on Hammond's downtown master plan, the Urban Land Institute (ULI) encouraged the city to be bold and engage the community as it aims to makeover downtown.

The city first unveiled its master plan for downtown Hammond in 2019, and since then a lot has changed, said Christopher Kurz, chair of the Hammond advisory panel.

The panel sought to assess the city's buildings and how to best repurpose them, evaluate "the city financial toolbox," and how to leverage resources and spread finances among projects, as well as develop a plan to attract retail on first floor and vacant spaces, Kurz said.

Kurz said the city's current downtown master plan is "very good," but the panel hopes to take the plan from "good to wow."

"The old adage, 'location, location, location' is passe, and 'experience, experience, experience' has taken its place. In 1990, decisions about work, shopping, playing and living all revolved around choosing a location where these things happen. Build it and they will come," Kurz said.

"Today, these things can happen anywhere and you, the consumer, can choose where to place yourself to work, play, eat, sleep and be entertained."

When it comes to Hammond, Kurz said while the city has finished planning when it comes to physical space, "it's now time to create the experiences through programming and tailor the physical space to the programs to optimize the experience."

Read the rest of this article at: NWI Times