HAMMOND | The city has hired an engineering firm to explore options in developing city-owned property adjacent to the Lost Marsh Golf Course.
The plan includes looking at the potential for residential development, said Tom Dabertin, chief of staff for Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr.
“There's tremendous interest in commercial and residential development in the Robertsdale area and the Whiting area,” Dabertin said. “People are realizing it's a very safe community and close to downtown Chicago.”
The Hammond Redevelopment Commission approved the agreement with SEH of Indiana LLC earlier this month. The plan comes on the heels of success the city has seen in developing the Lincoln Lake homes in North Hammond.
Of the five lots in the Lincoln Lake subdivision, two already have houses built with a third house under way, said Phil Taillon, executive director of the city's department of planning and development.
“Housing in North Hammond has been doing well for awhile actually,” Taillon said.
Whiting also has seen success in developing new housing. The Lake Park development, less than a quarter mile from Lake Michigan, is almost sold out. The city also bought and redeveloped houses in the 1900 block of New York Avenue.
Taillon said the agreement calls on SEH to present three proposals for new residential subdivisions east of the golf course. Until the proposals are received, Taillon said it's difficult to know how many homes could fit in the area.
City Councilman Mark Kalwinski, D-1st, who attended the Redevelopment Commission meeting, said planning for the development is one of many things under way in his district, citing the Southern Shores project from the Five Points intersection where Calumet Avenue and Indianapolis Boulevard meet at 114th Street to the state line.
The project could bring retail, restaurants and a hotel to the area.
“A lot of people like the idea of being on the golf course, I see it as an opportunity,” Kalwinski said. “We're landlocked in my district, so when we get a little bit of land where we can create new housing, people get excited because people want to live in Robertsdale and the First District.”