After decades of decline, there are signs of economic momentum in northwest Indiana. The $300 million Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana in Gary is the latest in a series of big projects changing the outlook in the state’s second-largest economy. And people are beginning to take notice. Northwest Indiana Forum Chief Executive Officer Heather Ennis says the region “is getting its swagger back” and attracting new residents from across Lake Michigan.
“The cities of Valparaiso, Crown Point, Whiting, Hammond is doing a walkable downtown, folks are coming to northwest Indiana and we are continually trying to build up our inventory because we can’t keep it in stock.”
Ennis talked about economic momentum in northwest Indiana on this week’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
The two biggest projects involve transformational improvements to commuter rail service in northwest Indiana and beyond. The $1 billion West Lake Corridor expansion and $500 million double tracking of the South Shore Rail Line are expected to open up massive development opportunities and provide quicker access to Chicago.
The Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has said the two rail projects will attract approximately $2.3 billion in private investment and result in over 6,000 new jobs and $3 billion in economic impact by 2048.