HAMMOND | New developments around the Cabela's location in Hammond are in the works more than a year after the site was taken out of the flood plain, a city official confirmed.
Residents were told at a city event Wednesday that Hammond is in negotiations with the retailer, though no specifics were shared.
Phil Taillon, executive director of the city's Department of Planning and Development, said an announcement could come by early 2013.
"It would be huge for us,” Taillon said. “We only have certain areas of the city that are really prime for major retail development, and the Cabela's site obviously is one of those sites in the city of Hammond.”
Developing the property surrounding the Hammond store is a priority for Cabela's, said company spokesman John Castillo.
“Many of our customers drive from a distance to visit the store and again, just an example, not saying anything like this is in progress, but we certainly see lodging like hotels, restaurants or even retail desirable to have because, again, it brings more people to that site,” Castillo said.
Cabela's locating to Hammond brought a flurry of interest to the site at Indianapolis Boulevard and Interstate 80/94. A water park developer expressed interest in locating an indoor water park at the site in 2007, but those plans fell through.
In 2011, the site was removed from the flood plain, which cleared the way for more development in the area because businesses no longer have to carry flood insurance.
There are 50 acres available for development around the Cabela's site, Taillon said.
“It is very important for the city to see development there,” Taillon said, “and to give the city of Hammond residents and everybody else in Northwest Indiana retail opportunities and new restaurants. Our residents have been asking for new restaurants and new retail for a long time, and this site would provide that.”