GARY - The city of Gary is facing challenges as it tries to rejuvenate retail business in the city. In an interview with our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana, Aaron McDermott, president of Latitude Commercial Real Estate Services in Schererville, says the challenge is due to the perception, proximity and demographics associated with Gary.

The Times stated that the damage done to the city’s reputation isn’t anything new, rather it has been building up for years because of “violent crime, boarded-up buildings, gang battles over street corners, and its FBI-designated status as the murder capital of the United States during the 1990s.”

McDermott told the publication there are a number of reasons for the decline in business in Gary.

“First is perception. There is a perception, whether real or not, that Gary is simply not safe to have retail businesses located within it. This came about on a tour I had a few years ago with a national retailer looking at Gary. While there was one particular location that made some sense, the operational manager denied the site due to the crime statistics they looked into at the site,” he said.

Gary's proximity to other, more established and high-traffic retail areas as well as the city's median income, population density and average age are also deterrents, according to McDermott. 

Read the full story from The Times of Northwest Indiana by clicking here.