Artist’s rendering shows potential upgrades to the South Shore Line’s 11th Street Station and the surrounding block in Michigan City, including a parking garage in the background. File photo
Artist’s rendering shows potential upgrades to the South Shore Line’s 11th Street Station and the surrounding block in Michigan City, including a parking garage in the background. File photo
MICHIGAN CITY — Michigan City’s “Station Block” will be getting a complete facelift, with some historical elements preserved, as part of the South Shore Double Track NWI project.

On Thursday, the city of Michigan City launched the 11th Street Central project by issuing a request for proposals to real estate developers for a project of regional scale, which Mayor Duane Parry calls “an anchoring center for the city and its historic downtown.”

In addition, there will be a developer information session on Oct. 7 at 9:30 a.m. at Uptown Social, 907 Franklin St., just a block away from the project site.

“The Economic Development Corporation Michigan City is working with city leaders to get the word out on an unprecedented opportunity for developers,” said EDCMC executive director Clarence Hulse.

“RFPs are being accepted for a mixed-use, multi hub for the city’s downtown that will bring in the new 11th Street Station for the South Shore Line.”

A Joint Development authorized by the Federal Transit Administration, 11th Street Central is a result of a partnership between Michigan City and the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

The selected private developer will be charged with creation of a mixed-use, multi-modal hub, with mandatory South Shore Line requirements, including 436 commuter parking spaces, a train station office and waiting area.

“An important – and defining – component of the Project will be restoration of the 11th Street Station’s original historic façade as the entrance to the station,” Parry said.

In return for building, then operating the commuter parking spaces, the developer will have access to $16 million for related project costs, according to the mayor.

The city is looking for developers with the experience and financial capacity commensurate with the magnitude of the project who can respond to “an aggressive time frame,” Parry said.

Completion of the development must coincide with commencement of service to the 11th Street Station upon completion of the South Shore Line’s Double Track project, now scheduled for May 2024.

As illustrated by the Development and Historic Preservation Guidelines which are part of the RFP, the city is open to a range of mixed-use projects, up to 10 floors in height, provided the SSL requirements are met.

The 65,300-square-foot project site is the full city block bounded by Franklin Street to the west, 10th Street to the north, 11th Street to the south and Pine Street to the east, with an easement into Pine Street which may allow site expansion, subject to city review.

In his cover letter, Parry said he warmly welcomes new partners and looks forward to “proposals that demonstrate the project site’s potential within both the local and regional contexts.”

“The RFP is a terrific example of the countless opportunities within our city,” the mayor said.

Proposals are due by 4 p.m. Dec. 10.

This is the initial development for the train station downtown,” Hulse said, “and we look forward to working with the developer to see this come to fruition.”
© Copyright 2022 LPHeraldDispatch.com