New Crown Point City Hall site?

Trees grow through the rooftops of glass greenhouses on the site of the shuttered Lake County Greenhouse in Crown Point. The long-closed site is being proposed as a location of a new Crown Point City Hall and public safety building. The site is contiguous with the city's youth sportsplex, which has seen significant investment in recent years.

Otherwise shining city gateways shouldn't be marred by the apocalyptic presence of decaying buildings.

It's a challenge throughout the Region, and the Lake County seat of Crown Point is no exception.

That's what makes a newly announced city plan to acquire the site of a long-shuttered greenhouse so intriguing.

Past real estate deals to sell and transform the property of the old Lake County Greenhouse, located at the intersection of North Street and Indiana Avenue, into a viable concern have fallen flat.

Now Crown Point Mayor David Uran said the city is moving to buy the parcel and transform it into a new City Hall and police department.

No doubt many city residents want to know the bottom-line costs of this plan. So do we.

While we still have questions about financial details, the potential benefits of this overall concept are clear.

The old greenhouse property has been closed for more than a dozen years — so long, in fact, that trees have grown through the glass-paneled rooftops of several of the buildings.

The property’s moldering appearance is hardly what any city, let alone a county seat, wants along a main drag.

And the intersection clearly is within a city gateway. The greenhouse property is contiguous with Crown Point’s youth sportsplex — an area of major investment in recent years frequented by local sports teams as well as outside visitors during national tournaments.

Meanwhile, the existing Crown Point City Hall and Civic Center in downtown Crown Point are dated and in need of modernization.

And the existing police station is crammed in a small space with the city's fire department. As a result, neither important public safety facility has the room it needs in this burgeoning community.

It's hard to argue with a plan that would repurpose existing downtown parcels for revenue-generating business while building needed modern facilities atop what is now a derelict property within the city's gateway.

We applaud the city for its vision. Now we implore Crown Point leaders to tackle the plan in taxpayer friendly fashion.

This type of important vision is required for Crown Point to live up to its nickname of "The Hub City" of Northwest Indiana.

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Members of The Times Editorial Board are Publisher Christopher T. White, Editorial Page Editor Marc Chase, Editor Bob Heisse, Politics/History Editor Doug Ross and Managing Editor Erin Orr.