Known as the little community with a big heart, Dyer is making some big moves to improve the town and bring in new business.
Infrastructure projects are at the top of the list.
“We have several significant projects scheduled for the 2019 construction season,” said town manager Tom DeGiulio. “Several are neighborhood projects that will impact the entire community.”
Dyer is going to complete phases two through four of the Berens-Monaldi infrastructure project. “This includes complete street reconstruction and new storm sewers for” Schmidt Drive beginning at Forest Park, Forest Park from Schmidt Drive north to South Street, and Lakewood from Schmidt Drive north to Berens Street, DeGiulio said. “This project will be completed this year,” he added.
Madison Avenue north of 213th to 211th Streets is slated for replacement of storm sewers and water mains and street reconstruction.
“The town’s Community Crossing Matching Grant program includes resurfacing of Hart/Sheffield south of Route 30 to 81st Street and 81st Street to the state line and east to the corporate limits,” DeGiulio said. “The town is working with Lake County to reconstruct the bridge on Hart Street south of Route 30.”
Scheduled to start this year, the project “will involve replacement of the bridge structure and be built with one lane of northbound traffic being open at all times,” he said. DeGiulio cautioned that motorists will need to find alternate routes.
DeGiulio said Dyer has queued up several other projects in the Northgate area, some of which will begin this year with completion next. “There’s quite a lot of work that needs to be done on both storm water and sewer drainage,” he said. “We’ve experienced areas of high water, and this project will hopefully eliminate those issues for our residents.”
DeGiulio praised the town council for its forward thinking on the infrastructure projects. “These aren’t slick and glossy improvements,” he said. “But they are necessary to maintain our community, and it’s really great to work with a group that understands preserving the town’s high standards.”
Housing remains in great demand in and around Dyer. “The town is pretty much built out,” DeGiulio said. “What we are seeing now is quite a lot of renovation and expansion in communities.”
Dyer boasts a population of more than 16,000, up 16 percent since 2000. Remarkable for a community that has limited land left to develop. “When a house goes up for sale, it sells very quickly,” said DeGiulio. “The only complaint we get is that people can’t find a house to buy and join our community.”
Commercial development is the largest area of growth in Dyer. “We preserve Dyer’s small-town charm and high standards, and that flows out from the council and into the community,” DeGiulio said. “When we talk to new and potential businesses, they are all impressed with the management of our town. They also comment on the friendliness that radiates from residents who become their clients.
“It’s challenging to open spaces for new businesses,” he said. “When an existing storefront opens, it is leased quickly. Business owners want to open in town, which helps drive our local economy.”
Among them, Northwest Oncology opened the first phase of its development
on Calumet Avenue north of 213th Street in the last year, the first commercial development on Calumet between 210th and 213th.
In addition, the town recently approved a development for the first commercial project on the east side of Calumet south of 213th. Avenue Development of Indianapolis has acquired 20 acres south of Central Park Boulevard, adjacent to the Central Park. “The first development will be a 60-unit assisted living area with 20 memory care units,” DeGiulio said. It will be managed by Cedarhurst Inc.
“Plans for future development north of this facility will hopefully attract complementary businesses,” DeGiulio said.
These projects will bring in revenue that will benefit the residents in many ways. The little community with the big heart is getting bigger.