HAMMOND | Hammond is seeking developers for Oxbow Landing, an area city officials hope turns into a premier commercial and retail area.
The site, which formerly held the River Park Apartments, is at the southeast corner of Kennedy Avenue and the Borman Expressway.
Since the city demolished the apartment complex, work has centered on making the area prime for development. In 2011, the city unveiled a road, named Carlson Drive, that consolidated 177th and 179th streets through Oxbow Landing.
The city will advertise for proposals from developers Monday with submissions due Feb. 19.
“We are hoping for restaurants and retail opportunities for our residents that they've been asking for for a long time,” said Phil Taillon, executive director of the city's department of planning and development.
A developer purchased one 2.6-acre lot at the site and is working to get the financing together to start construction of a new Hampton Inn hotel.
Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said the city also is working to bring what he described as a “touristy-type of attraction” to the site that would be good for the city and the development.
McDermott said he hopes Oxbow Landing draws restaurants and night-life opportunities for Purdue University Calumet students and people staying at the hotel.
"I think it will be really a successful development. I really do," McDermott said.
Six years ago, the city had sought one master developer for the site, but the economy weakened, Taillon said. Since then, the city has decided to sell the property in lots.
The new request for proposals is for three lots, though one lot is large at 10.5 acres and can be divided and subdivided for purchase by different entities, Taillon said. In all, the proposed retail and commercial site encompasses about 16 acres. The Hammond Redevelopment Commission will sell the real estate by acre, with the minimum bid per acre at $142,428.
The city is prepared to offer incentives for the right projects, Taillon said.
“It's right off one of the busiest-traveled highways in the United States,” Taillon said. “From conversations we've had with different developers, we think we are going to get a number of submissions for retail-type businesses.”