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Michigan City soliciting proposals for developers for 'unprecedented opportunity'
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Michigan City soliciting proposals for developers for 'unprecedented opportunity'

11th street station rendering

A Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District rendering shows realigned and expanded South Shore Line tracks and a new passenger platform along 11th Street in Michigan City. The city and its economic development corporation are asking developers to create ideas for filling out the station block with a mixed use development.

Michigan City is asking developers for proposals for a new mixed-used development as big as a city block around the South Shore Line's 11th Street Station.

The Economic Development Corp. Michigan City said the South Shore Line double-tracking project presents an "unprecedented opportunity for developers."

"We are proud to partner with the city on this project," said Executive Director Clarence Hulse. "This is the initial development for the train station downtown, and we look forward to working with the developer to see this come to fruition."

The city is asking for proposals for a mixed-use hub at a South Shore Line station it's describing as "a project of regional scale, that will also be an anchoring center for the city and its historic downtown."

The city and Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District are looking for a developer to create a mixed-use multimodal hub with 426 commuter parking spaces, a waiting area and a train station. They hope to find a developer who will restore the station's original historic facade for use as the entrance, and build out and operate the parking spaces.

In exchange, the developer will get access to $16 million in funding for project costs.

The 65,300-square-foot project site encompasses an entire city block bounded by Franklin, Pine, 10th and 11th streets. Michigan City is open to projects of up to 10 floors in height, but the development must be completed on an "aggressive timeline" by May 2024 when Double Track construction is expected to be completed.

Mayor Duane Perry said in a letter to developers that the successful proposal must serve the needs of the local community first but be regional in scope.

"Building on the impressive, shared commitment at the federal, state and local levels, to make Lake Michigan's southern shore a more prominent part of the nation's third-largest economy, this project has regional significance," he wrote. "It will be a new multi-modal hub, 60 minutes from Chicago, with the new improvements to the South Shore Line in place. It will enhance access and connections to our city and its significant assets — from our national park, beaches and parks to our renowned arts district and Blue Chip casino, to our businesses and substantial educational offerings."

A developer information session will take place at 9:30 a.m.. Oct. 7 at Uptown Social at 907 Franklin St. in Michigan City.

Proposals are due by Dec. 10.

For more information, visit in-michigancity.civicplus.com/1240/11th-Street-Central-RFP.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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