Economic / Community Development

 

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The Economic / Community Development Departments focus on strategies for both economic and quality of life enhancements to our community. The economic goal is to enable continued business development through programs directed at retention and attraction of business within the City to stimulate and maintain economic vitality. Quality of life will be addressed by continued creation of community amenities for our residents. Economic/Community Development works in collaboration with local Chamber of Commerce.

Bruce Stolman
Community Development Director

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Across the City there are literally dozens of projects in the works that are directly related to Economic Development and Community Development. In this section of our web site, we will try to keep the most current information posted as related to each of the projects from the ground breaking through their completion.

Bike Trail Project

The Whiting Lakefront Trail, connecting the George Lake Path through Whiting’s east side to Front Street and into Lakefront Park, has been completed up to Lake Avenue. A completed trail enhancement, which includes several lookouts and foot shower stations, has been added from the Whihala Beach entrance to the roundabout located at the western end of the beach parking lot. Additionally, safety improvements, such as LED lighting, have been extended to Lake Avenue in Hammond. The Whiting City Council has passed an ordinance allowing dogs to accompany their owners along the Whiting Lakefront Trail. Now pets and their owners may enjoy both the Hammond and Whiting trails. As lakefront development continues, this RDA Grant funded trail will extend along the shoreline and eventually connect to the Chicago bike path system.

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Center Street Housing Development

There are not any lots available for construction. The project has run its course, and construction of the final two homes is expected to begin by the end of summer. As demand for new quality home construction continues to rise, City planners are currently hard at work formulating strategies for the next housing development.  Anyone interested in new home construction should contact the Economic Development Director bstolman@whitingindiana.com

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Commercial Development – New Businesses

Olena’s Cajun Po’ Boys has opened at 1908 Clark Street behind Levin Eye Care Center.  Olena features authentic Cajun food, such as Boudin Sausages and Alligator Sandwiches. The Market@119 has opened at 1601 119th Street.  Check out the Market@119’s collection of stylish antiques and other amenities to transform your home from boring into interesting.  The complete rehabilitation of six luxury apartment units at 1421 and 1423 119th Street has been completed.  All are occupied by new residents. The commercial space on the ground floor is ready to be custom built out for tenants.  If you are looking to lease some of this newly rehabbed commercial space, please call Tom Hovanec at 219-916-2680. If you have any questions concerning other Whiting commercial retail space please contact Bruce Stolman at 219-659-7700 or bstolman@whitingindiana.com. 

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Demolition

There continues to be demolition of properties purchased by the Redevelopment Commission in the Stadium District to create open space for future development. Additional demolitions of derelict or underutilized properties continue throughout the City. So please, don’t be alarmed—these demolitions are part of the plan!

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Lakefront Development

The Lakefront Park Project has greatly increased the usage of our Lakefront Park and Whihala Beach by local residents and visitors alike. Last year an event area was added to respond to this increased demand for usage. The event area’s purpose is to facilitate larger events.  Its design includes new lighting and power sources that can accommodate a wide variety of entertainment venues. One of the final amenities that continues to move forward is the Lakefront Restaurant. This project is in the advanced planning stages.  Shoreline improvements necessary for the restaurant’s construction are currently being assessed by engineers.

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New York Avenue Housing Development

The construction and sales of fine quality homes along the 1900 block of New York Avenue is complete.  All planned lots in the 1900 block have been purchased and have new homes built on them.  The project is now extending to the next block south, with lots for new home construction that are available on the southern corners of the New York Avenue and John Street intersection.

The majority of the homes built so far have been priced for young families.  The new construction also provides opportunities for established couples to obtain a new home with fewer maintenance issues. Whatever the needs may be, the commission is willing to work with future buyers. These homes can be purchased upon completion or purchased during construction. Interested buyers may arrange with the builder to build a home of their own design, subject to commission approval.

If you have any questions about the development, please call Bruce Stolman at 219 659 7700.

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Ace Hardware Store

Coming soon on Indianapolis Blvd. will be our new Ace Hardware store. The store will be located on the former Ruzich Funeral Home property at 2031 Indianapolis Blvd.  This modern 13,500 square foot store will feature a garden center, paint, and lumber in addition to the usual hardware inventory.

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Parking Improvement Projects

New parking lot improvements inside Whihala Beach have been completed. An additional 38 parking spaces were added to the Whihala Beach parking lot earlier this year.

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Sheridan Avenue Stage

Construction of a stage, public restrooms, and a green area have been finished at 119th & Sheridan Avenue.  Along with being used for Pierogi Fest® venues, this public area and stage will be the site of many smaller performances, events, and gatherings throughout the year.  A conspicuous piece of public art is included in the plan, and will be positioned when the commissioned artwork is completed.

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