Gary ready for tech revival with announcement of Fiber Smart House • Northwest Indiana Business Magazine
Gary Union Station,

Gary ready for tech revival with announcement of Fiber Smart House

The city of Gary is poised to become a tech hub in Northwest Indiana.

On Aug. 17, officials announced the development of an $8 million Fiber Smart House that will open in fall 2024.

“The establishment of the Fiber Smart House is a key first step toward leveling the digital playing field for our community and making Gary the Region’s launch point for this digital equity movement and technology hub in Northwest Indiana,” said Mayor Jerome Prince in a press release.

The iconic Gary Union Station will house the 10,000-square-foot state-of-the-art technology workforce and educational training hub.

“Our city has a proud history and a bright future, and this development is as symbolic as it is significant,” Prince said. “Choosing the iconic Gary Union Station as the home for this project is emblematic of where we have been and our vision for where we will go next.”

The Gary Union Station opened in 1910 but has fallen into disrepair in recent years. It once was designated one of the 10 Most Endangered Places in Indiana. However, Tyrell Anderson, a local real estate renovator and preservationist, has made it his mission to rehabilitate the once bustling depot. The Decay Devils, of which Anderson is president, owns the building.

“When we took on the renovation of the Gary Union Station in 2018, we never dreamed it could become a multi-purpose technology and business hub focused on developing the next generation of high-tech workforce,” Anderson said.

Digital Equity LLC, a national telecommunications development company, is on board with the project.

“Cities across the U.S. have seen a direct correlation between lack of broadband access and limiting economic opportunity,” said Dr. Linda Lopez, managing member of Digital Equity LLC. “This building is the perfect location to help provide essential services to city residents, and we are proud to be associated with the city of Gary.”

Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s secretary of agriculture and rural development, said the development is “beyond our wildest imagination.”

“The Fiber Smart House will be a brick-and-mortar space to link the tech community with opportunities for workforce development and training-up the next generation of tech workers in advanced technology careers,” Crouch said. “This is a vital first step in changing wealth outcomes for generations.”

The space also will serve as a network operations center and fiber access point for large networks, create a community for nonprofits and partner with higher education. And it will offer security and public safety emergency services for Gary residents.

Crouch, Prince, incoming Gary Mayor Eddie Melton and Gary Common Council President William Godwin will offer comments during a groundbreaking event Aug. 23.

Decay Devils was a 2017 Society of Innovators inductee.

Caption: The Gary Union Station, 51 Broadway, Gary, will become the home of a Fiber Smart House. (Provided by Decay Devils)


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