As we start a new year, it’s an excellent time to reflect on all the changes underway in our Region, and look at all the amazing opportunities and changes expected this year. In this issue, we launch a new yearlong series: “The future of.” We will explore the plans and projects of our Region one city at a time.
Why focus on cities?
Our Region is more than a collection of autonomous cities and towns — unlike many other metropolitan areas our size typically comprised of a large anchor city and collar towns bordering it. For this reason, we chose to focus our series on six cities and not the Region as a whole. Cities here differ in population, geography and industries driving their economic growth. Some cities rely more heavily on manufacturing for their prosperity, while others depend on health care or agribusiness.
We chose Michigan City, Crown Point, South Bend, Valparaiso, Hammond and Gary for our initial set of “The future of” cities to profile. Each article will provide a comprehensive overview of each city, highlighting their potential opportunities. We chose this first batch to represent the diversity of the Region’s geography, population size and key industries driving economic growth. For example, half of the cities we plan to profile will be impacted directly by the expansion of the South Shore Line, while the others have big infrastructure and economic development plans.
The future of Michigan City
Speaking of the South Shore Line expansion, it is safe to say that no city on our list will be more impacted by the project than our first one: Michigan City. The projections are staggering: $750 million in development and 10 to 13% population growth for the downtown area alone. I encourage you to spend some time with Doug Ross’ “The future of Michigan City” article in this issue to learn more about how our fellow Hoosiers are making careful plans for this new prosperity.
Join me in rooting for them as they find ways to grow their economy and population, and improve the quality of life in Michigan City without losing that small-town feeling and without leaving any of the current residents behind. Hopefully, they can chart a course that allows all boats (current and new residents alike) to prosper in this rising tide fueled by a railroad along the lake.
— Troy Linker, publisher
Click here to read more from the February-March 2023 issue of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine.