HAMMOND | Phil Taillon, the city's executive director of planning and development, said the expansion of Crown Point's Gateways Redevelopment area north along Calumet Avenue and Kennedy Avenue will give the city more tools to get development into the area.

The city's Redevelopment Commission last week approved a resolution for expanding the area between the Borman Expressway and 165th Street. Further approvals are still needed, including from the City Council.

Expanding the redevelopment area will allow the city to use tax money created through development and increased property values in the area to pay for economic development bonds, infrastructure improvement and acquiring property.

"This is going to give us more tools to bring in more development into the area," Taillon said.

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Taillon said a new Starbucks, a Dunkin' Donuts, and a new outlet center at 165th Street and Calumet Avenue  are creating development momentum.

Hammond officials also said in August they had been in discussions to acquire the property at 6433-6449 Kennedy Avenue. Taillon said if the city acquired that property, officials would raze the existing building there and seek proposals for a new development at the site.

At the time, Taillon noted the city had seen significant development in the Oxbow Landing section of the Gateways Redevelopment area, which is where Buffalo Wild Wings has opened and a brewpub, hotel and office building are preparing to open. He said it has been more of a challenge to get businesses and other users to move in farther north.

In March, the Redevelopment Commission approved an agreement with Cender and Co. LLC, of Merrillville, to perform consulting work in connection with the expansion of the Gateways Redevelopment Area. The agreement called for the company to be paid up to $30,000 for the work.

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