Local News

Goal is Michigan City Being First Stop from Chicago

(Michigan City, IN) - A developer wants Michigan City to be the destination for Illinois residents now driving past the community while on their way to New Buffalo and other parts of southwest Michigan.


Tom Dakich of YAB Development Partners told "Inside Indiana Business" he believes plans for a 12-story structure containing hotel rooms, condominiums, and other amenities like retail space will do just that.


“Bringing that money to Indiana and making Michigan City, not just a place that people drive past it as they’re going to southwest Michigan but staying here and seeing the benefit of the marina, the outlet mall, and the casino. That’s our goal,” Dakich said.

The $240 million development plans unveiled in March include two Wyndham branded hotels with more than 200 rooms on what's known as the "You Are Beautiful" lot.


The former News Dispatch newspaper and police station used to be on the property on U.S. 12 near the lakefront.


The project also contains nearly 150 condominiums, more than a dozen duplex homes along with 30,000 square feet of retail space, a grocery store, and an urgent care medical facility.


Dakich said groundbreaking could happen before the end of the year.


The development seems positioned to take advantage of the upgrades on the South Shore Railroad commuter line.


The second set of tracks is being laid from Michigan City to Gary to shorten round-trip travel times to Chicago by about one hour. An influx of people living and working in Chicago are expected to relocate to and visit Michigan City because of the more convenient rail travel. The development is less than a half mile from the new train station to be constructed as part of the mostly federally funded improvements to the rail line.


Dakich said close to 300 full-time, year-round jobs and more seasonal positions will be created from the mixed-use development.


A 12-story building containing upscale apartments and retail space is also planned by another developer on 11th Street just east of Franklin Street.


Construction is expected to begin on a seven-story housing development containing retail space for low and middle-income wage earners at 8th Street and Michigan Boulevard in the coming months.


“I believe that in five years, Michigan City will be entirely different, and we’re just a piece of that,” Dakich said.

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