(Michigan City, IN) - A new train station for the South Shore Railroad commuter line featuring more than 200 luxury apartments is planned in downtown Michigan City.
The $80 million project is designed to capitalize on a second rail line projected to reduce commute times to and from Chicago significantly.
"Fasten your seat belts. We are catapulting Michigan City through the present, right into the future," said Mayor Duane Parry.
According to the mayor's office, the development called "11th Street Central" will include a 558-space parking garage and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. The building will go up at the exact location as the old train station on 11th Street, just east of Franklin Street.
A second rail line from Michigan City to Gary is expected to start next month. The extra line will reduce a one-way trip from Michigan City to Chicago by more than 30 minutes.
"Time to the job market is what matters to our commuters," said Michael Noland, President of the South Shore Railroad commuter line.
It's anticipated quicker travel will bring more visitors and new residents from Chicago who can live here and still enjoy reasonable commute times to and from work. Noland said the double-track project costing $649 million would mean "an easy 67-minute commute" to Michigan City from downtown Chicago.
"We expect to more than triple our daily ridership out of Michigan City," Noland said.
Flaherty & Collins Properties out of Indianapolis will develop the entire site bounded by 10th and 11th streets on the north and south sides of the block and Franklin and Pine Streets on the east and west. The developer of upscale housing throughout the nation is also behind the ongoing construction of 200 resort-type apartments near Clear Lake in LaPorte.
Vice-President of Development for Flaherty & Collins Properties Brian Prince said the facility would help the city retain its best and brightest individuals and make the community more inviting for job creators.
"This project will be huge for the region, attract and keep young professionals in Michigan City and make it more attractive for existing employers and potential new employers," Prince said.
The goal is to begin the construction of the high-rise structure in the summer of 2023. The train station is expected to be open in May of 2024, and the apartments will be completed by spring of 2025.