MERRILLVILLE | The Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce is consolidating offices and will move to a new location this spring.
Julie Olthoff, chairwoman of the board, said it approved leasing office space at 93rd Avenue and Taft Street. Located in Merrillville near the Crown Point border, the office will be on the north end of the Ultra Foods building.
“This large space is centrally located near the courthouse and has great accessibility,” Olthoff said.
Olthoff said the Chamber closed its office in the historic Lake County Courthouse in downtown Crown Point on Dec. 31 and has its current location at 255 W. 80th Place in Merrillville for sale.
Chamber President and CEO Sue Reed said the chamber staff is excited about moving to their new location.
“Our office space is larger so we will have more room to accommodate our members when they are helping us with projects or attending a committee meeting,” Reed said. “The chamber is a great resource for those living in the region, those new to the area and visitors who are looking for services or products. Our lobby is filled with promotional information that all will find useful. Being more visible and accessible gives us a greater opportunity to promote our membership.”
Olthoff said the new location will offer both a visible, unified, central location and functional space to better provide its services and programs to chamber members and the public.
“Visibility is critical,” Olthoff said. “We need the community at large to recognize our name and then use our office as a referral and information source.”
Olthoff said the consensus of the chamber board is that “until we are further along in our years, we shouldn’t purchase a permanent spot. We will know better who we are as we continue to grow and, over time, it will become clearer what space would best suit those needs for the long term.”
Olthoff said the chamber will find a temporary space in downtown Crown Point during the Hometown Festival Days.
Olthoff said the chamber paid off the mortgage on its current office in September. The 3,274-square-foot brick and frame building is listed at $330,000 and has four private offices and a conference room. It was built in 1994 six years before the Merrillville and Crown Point chambers combined to form the Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber currently has 670 member businesses representing thousands of employees, Olthoff said.