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Genesis Center

The Genesis Convention Center, in Gary across the street from City Hall and opened in 1981, was then-Mayor Richard Hatcher’s major effort to revitalize downtown Gary. The venue never lived up to the hopes it would bring activity and business to the city.

GARY — The City Council adopted several ordinances on final reading on Tuesday, including one that allows Geminus Corp. to expand a daycare facility at 3869 Van Buren St.

Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson said the business is right off of Ridge Road in St. Mark Catholic Church, which has closed.

"They are at capacity now and they would like to expand that opportunity, and they've been a great partner in that community," Freeman-Wilson said.

"In fact, we have discussed how we might be able to add to what they're doing by investing in the rectory to really work around that area because there are a number of abandoned buildings."

Another ordinance described by Freeman-Wilson as a housekeeping effort allows the area of Washington Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues to be vacated; this is where the Genesis Center is located.

"This is space that is actually under the Genesis Center," Freeman-Wilson said.

Council President Ronald Brewer, D-at large, said an alley was not vacated there when the center was built, and the vacation will allow the parcels to come together.

"The purpose for this is so that we can issue an RFP that might lead to either the sale or lease of the Genesis Center," Freeman-Wilson said.

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In other business:

* Tuesday's City Council meeting was held in the 1st District at the Marquette Park Pavilion due to leakage in the roof at City Hall.

The next five council meetings will be held at various spots throughout the city.

"I have been told that the roof has been patched, but we're going to continue with our meetings going through each district," Brewer said.

He said that will allow citizens who wouldn't normally come to City Hall to see the council in action and ask questions.

* Freeman-Wilson said 21st Century Fox will be filming in the city March 27 and 28 for a new television series.

"They will be filming at the Lake County Building as well as Fire Station No. 1," Freeman-Wilson said.

She said the downtown area will be utilized for staging.

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