GARY — City officials are considering two separate proposals for a senior citizen social center and a 24-hour child day care. 

The projects were before Gary's City Council at its May 1 meeting, but lack of parking and street lighting, along with other safety concerns, prompted officials to send the proposals back to the Planning Committee for further review. 

Lauren Price, of Gary, is proposing a day care in the 3900 block of West 10th Avenue, a residential neighborhood, records show.

Paula Ford, also of Gary, is seeking permission to rent space for a senior citizen center at 944 Broadway.

Catholic Charities in Gary is adjacent to the building. Across Broadway are several businesses, including Da Catch, a fast-food restaurant, Boost Mobile and Save More Food Center. 

Council President Ron Brewer said the day care center is unique in that it would be a 24/7 operation, but there are concerns about lack of parking there. 

"We know they're going to need some type of parking on the property," he said.

Regarding the senior facility, Brewer said he's also concerned about heavy traffic along Broadway. 

Councilwoman Carolyn Rogers, 4th District, said it has become increasingly common in recent years for the council to approve business ventures and building developments on a conditional basis through rental agreements.

That would likely be the case here for increased accountability, she said. 

"I really like that because we can determine how the business is doing and make sure they are complying and all of that," Rogers said. 

Rogers said she is concerned about lack of parking and outdoor lighting at the proposed senior center along Broadway, but if executed properly, would be a great addition to the city's Fourth District. 

"The facility itself is really nice. It's a large facility with a lot of amenities," she said. 

Councilman Herb Smith, who chairs the council's Planning Committee, could not immediately be reached for comment Monday. 

The Planning Committee's next meeting is 5:30 p.m. Thursday. 


Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.