A near century old bank tower in downtown Hammond could become the focal point of a mixed-use redevelopment project. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report NWI Development Group, an operating partner of Michigan City-based UpperCross Development Group, is investing up to $24 million to renovate the historic building and convert it into 100 market-rate apartments.
The former Bank Calumet closed about six years ago, after having been acquired by Chicago-based First Midwest Bank in 2006.
The publication says developers want to convert the 112-foot-tall structure, Hammond’s tallest building, into a showcase for the city and bring “”downtown apartment-style contemporary living” by spring 2023.
“Obviously there’s a massive conversion we have to do,” developer Alan Schachtman said. “We’ve got to demo most of the floors upstairs, build all new stuff. Once it’s all done, it will be pretty spectacular. It’s a really unique space, especially for Hammond. I don’t think there’s another space like this in Hammond.”
In addition to residential units, the developers say they envision ground-floor retail and a co-working space.
The publication says the 32-foot-tall, vaulted lobby features a ceiling with mammoth classical pillars, wood imported from Germany and chandeliers.
“Most of these spaces are gone. They get run down,” said Don Babcock, Purdue University Northwest director of economic development and community relations. “You never see buildings get built with that grandeur anymore, with that height of the ceiling, where you say, ‘Oh my God, it’s wonderful.'”
The publication says there is also a vault with a massive door in the basement which could provide historic ambiance.