Governor, Mayor to Open Downtown Gary Bank

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(Rendering Courtesy:Gateway Partners LLC) The first floor of the building has been vacant for years, but now includes a Centier Bank location. (Rendering Courtesy:Gateway Partners LLC) The first floor of the building has been vacant for years, but now includes a Centier Bank location.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for a key portion of a major redevelopment project in downtown Gary. Governor Mike Pence and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson will mark the opening Wednesday of a Centier Bank branch inside the historic former Gary State Bank building.

Gateway Partners LLC, 504 Redevelopment LLC and the city are investing millions into revamping the property. The Gary Redevelopment Commission has invested $2.8 million from revenue bonds into the first phase of the project, which includes significant remodeling of the interior and exterior, space for retail and a possible events center, plus covered drive-up banking lanes for the first floor banking center. Previous reports pegged the developer's investment in the initial phase at $2.5 million.

Bigger-picture plans at the site call for construction of the South Shore Technology Center in the upper floors of the city's second-tallest building. It will be marketed to communications, technology and health care companies in Chicago and beyond as a more affordable alternative to locating in the Illinois city that is just a few dozen miles from Gary.

Governor Pence and Indiana Economic Development Corp. President Jim Schellinger will be speaking earlier in the day to the Gary Chamber of Commerce at an event in the Majestic Star Casino Event Center. The chamber says the presentation will focus on jobs and economic development.

The city is placing major emphasis on breathing new life into its urban core. One example close to the bank building project is the former Sheridan Hotel property. The building has been torn down and a park is going up in its place.

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