This is a vibrant time for Hammond. The City has become a destination for business, entertainment and recreation with much more on the horizon.
Revitalization and redevelopment are key to a number of projects that are bringing economic growth to Hammond, including new jobs. These projects include a new Family Dollar store to be built near Strack & Van Til Supermarket at Hohman Avenue and Sibley; a $25 million development that will feature new retail businesses and restaurants in a 16-acre parcel along Indianapolis Boulevard in North Hammond; and the new Hammond Station Restaurant and Brewery at Oxbow Landing to be built at Kennedy Avenue and I-80/94.
Our Downtown has taken on a new vibrancy thanks to comprehensive investment by the City and the support of organizations dedicated to creating a downtown for the 21st Century. Expanded free parking, facilities for start-up and long-established businesses to occupy and a diverse mix of enterprises are all part of the draw. Special events and festivals bring visitors to our City’s downtown.
We will continue to transform Hammond into a community that is attractive for all residents, especially families. That transformation includes a continued investment in our parks and recreational facilities. The magnificent improvements that were funded by the Regional Development Authority in Robertsdale along Wolf and George Lakes and Lake Michigan are excellent examples of that transformation.
This area will be showcased at the 10th Annual Festival of the Lakes July 17 to 21. Our 2012 event was a huge success, as over 50,000 people participated in the activities highlighting Hammond’s three lakes. This year promises to surpass last year, providing our great community another five days of summer fun.
Free live entertainment will be held nightly on the main stage, with great musical acts such as Smokey Robinson, Lifehouse, LL Cool J, Bruce in the USA, La Original Banda El Limon and other fantastic opening acts as well.
There will also be great family events throughout the week, such as the 5K Run/Walk On the Lake, the Hot Rod & Custom Car Show, the Mik Lurch Fishing Derby, and many others. We’ve also brought back the popular Carnival Mega Pass, which allows unlimited carnival rides from open until close during the Festival.
Other recreational facilities help make Hammond a destination. The City has entered into a $6 million partnership with Purdue University Calumet that will make Dowling Park a destination for college sports enthusiasts from around the Chicago area.
We also continue to expand our bike path system into one of the largest off-road systems in the Midwest. Construction of up to eight more miles of paths and three bridges to eliminate dangerous crossings is planned for 2013. When our system is complete, every home in Hammond will be within one mile of an off-road trail. We are turning Hammond into a bicycle-friendly city, which serves our residents and invites visitors to see what the City offers.
Although we look to the future, we also celebrate Hammond’s past. The new historic sign program for homes in the City’s 10 historic districts initiated by the Hammond Historic Preservation Committee is one example.
The City of Hammond has a lot going on! Make Hammond one of your destinations. We welcome you.