Michigan City is on the upswing and has been for several years. With continued retail growth and new businesses moving into the area, the beachfront town has been enjoying a bit of a renaissance and is poised for even greater success as it moves further into the 21st century.
One of the keys to seeing that trend continue is by ensuring diversity of living spaces, according to Clarence Hulse, Executive Director of the Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City.
The latest addition to the continued development of the city is the announcement of a $45 million, 128-unit, 10 story, mid-rise apartment complex, to be built at the corner of 5th and Pine streets, right in the heart of Michigan City. The building will be the home of a full set of luxury apartments and will feature retail spaces along the ground-level. The rooftop will include a high-end restaurant with glass windows and an open terrace, so diners will be able to enjoy stunning views year-round. Rent for the individual apartments will be market-based, according to Hulse.
The project is expected to break ground in early spring of 2020, with the first tenants ready to move in just in time for summer of 2021.
“We’re excited,” Hulse said. “This is a reset, it’s a brand new product for Michigan City, something that’s never been done here before.”
This development continues a trend that has seen a variety of attractive living spaces to fit families of all income ranges in Michigan City, from the thriving Artspace Artist Lofts on Franklin Street to the recently-announced Washington Landing Condominium project, to the development of 30 single-family homes on Tryon Road – a project with Mayfield Partners LLC.
“Our community is made up of a variety of people at varying income levels,” Hulse said. “You want to build for all income levels so everyone is welcome and has a place to live.”
“We also have residents here in Michigan City who are looking to leave the community to find more attractive housing elsewhere, and that’s something that we want to change. We want to be able to offer them a reason to stay,” Hulse added.
“As part of that, we have developed our plan for the next five years. We will be working on workforce development and talent attraction.”
Hulse said when companies are looking to move their business into a new area, one of the first things they consider is the availability of a skilled workforce to fill those new positions.
“Michigan City, like many other communities across the United States, needs to have a strong workforce. We need people badly.”
“Talent attraction has become one of the top three requests among site selectors when looking for new locations for their companies. They want to know that you have a pipeline of people. Whether that’s young people who can be trained, existing local workers who have experience, or workers who might move into that community,” Hulse said.
“People often come here for a job, but they can’t find a place that they want to live here in Michigan City, so they end up living in a nearby town, though they work here.”
Hulse said besides offering job training and skills development programs at local schools, the city also needs to attract talent from other areas of the country. Key to that is what developers call placemaking - creating spaces that help to promote a great quality of life.
“We’re looking to build value, to build a community where people want to be. We already have some great assets here in Michigan City, both natural and man-made.”
Hulse cited the beach and the nearby Indiana Dunes, recently named a National Park, and the nearby Blue Chip Casino Hotel Spa and convenient shopping at Lighthouse Place mall.
“We have a wonderful variety of restaurants here, as well. From Japanese to Tex-Mex, Jamaican, Polish, Italian - a whole variety of foods and flavors right here in Michigan City. We have two micro-breweries and we’re excited to see the addition of Fluid Coffee Lounge. We have something here for everyone,” Hulse said.
“Over the last 5 to 8 years, we’ve done a lot of work to build and promote our downtown area, especially with our art district. We tried to create a place where people can gather and entertain, through the addition of 30 new restaurants right here in the downtown and that was by design.”
For more information about Economic Development Corporation of Michigan City, this and other upcoming projects, visit them online at https://www.edcmc.com/.