Hard Rock donates $3M to blight demolition in Gary TDD • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Matt Schuffert and Mayor Eddie Melton

Hard Rock donates $3M to blight demolition in Gary TDD

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Hard Rock Northern Indiana is making a substantial commitment to eliminating blight in Gary's downtown area with a $3 million donation.

Mayor Eddie Melton and Hard Rock President Matt Schuffert announced the joint effort that targets the new Metro Transit Development District for economic development.

“This catalytic donation from Hard Rock marks a new chapter in Gary’s story, one where we begin to turn the page on blight and write our future, a future in which Gary residents see real change and feel a renewed sense of pride in our downtown Broadway corridor,” Melton said in a press release. “With this $3 million contribution, we are planting seeds of hope and growth for our downtown.”

The donation could be matched through a grant program made possible by Indiana SB 434, a bill authored by Melton when he was senator. It passed in 2023. It calls for two grants of $3 million each if Gary finds $6 million in matching funds. The state grants would be funded in 2024 and 2025.

“Hard Rock is pleased to support Mayor Melton’s mission to improve the economic development of the city of Gary by demolishing the blighted properties that currently stand in the way,” Schuffert said.

He also said Hard Rock's “All Is One” mission has been helping communities since 1971.

“Giving back is core to the Hard Rock brand, and Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana has been making good on that mission since we opened our doors in Gary in 2021,” Schuffert said.

Volunteer crews from Rieth-Riley Construction, Hasse Construction, C. Lee Construction, Actin INC, R & D Construction, Dyer Construction, Superior Construction and the Lake County Highway Department began demolition of blighted properties in the Aetna neighborhood after the press conference.

Caption: Mayor Eddie Melton and Matt Schuffert, president of Hard Rock Indiana (Provided by the City of Gary)


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