U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, one of the major forces behind the Marquette Plan for the lakefront, said he applauds Gary's efforts to change the plan.
Earlier this week Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson told the Lake Michigan Marina Development Commission that Gary would rather have the Buffington Harbor area renovated for industrial use, not green space.
On Friday, Visclosky, D-Merrillville, said he does not oppose the change.
"Northwest Indiana is one of the great industrial centers of our country, and I fight hard in Congress for our steel and manufacturing industries,” Visclosky said. “The Marquette Plan calls for the coexistence of industry and public access to our greatest asset, the Lake Michigan shoreline.”
Visclosky mentioned several plans to improve other sections of Gary's lakefront.
“I applaud Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson for her continued effort to reinvest in the city of Gary, as evidenced by the ongoing expansion of the Kirk Yard as well as the work undertaken at Marquette Park,” he said.
Freeman-Wilson this week said it would cost $10 million to $20 million in remediation to turn the area into a green space. Making it industrial in case nearby companies want to expand would be much cheaper, she said.
Freeman-Wilson also proposed moving a planned land-based casino away from the lakefront to a place where more drivers would see it.
“Our preference was to see the casino on the (Interstate) 80/94 corridor,” she said Thursday.