A redevelopment project that would bring a Centier Bank branch to downtown Gary has gained ground.
The Economic Development Commission approved $2.8 million in bonds for a plan by Hobart-based developer Gateway Partners LLC to rehabilitate the Gary State Bank tower, the second tallest building in the city, less than a week after a tie vote stalled the plan. The commission voted 4-1 last week to approve $2.5 million in renovations that would include a drive-through.
Centier Bank would lease space in the century-old 10-story building at 506 Broadway.
"The redevelopment of the Gary State Bank Building will show immediate impact by attracting Centier Bank as an anchor tenant. We truly believe this project will represent the first step toward restoring downtown Gary," said J. Forest Hayes, Gary's Director of Commerce and Economic Development.
"However, the most important aspect of this project is the message it will send to the commercial development community," he said. "This public-private partnership clearly demonstrates that Gary is prepared to engage serious developers and that our city is truly open for business. At the end of the day, this is all about creating jobs for the citizens of Gary."
The Gary Common Council has referred the developer's request to create a tax-increment financing district that would help pay for the construction to its committee on finance.
The committee will consider the proposal at a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council lounge at Gary City Hall, 401 Broadway.