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Indiana State Prison Redevelopment Strategy

Issuer: EDC Michigan City

Introduction: The Indiana State Prison is located less than one thousand yards from the shore of Lake Michigan and the Indiana National Dune Park and approximately a half a mile from the South Shore Commuter Rail Line within the newly established Transit Development District (TDD). The prison is also proximal to the NIPSCO Michigan City coal fire generation facility which is scheduled to be shuttered and demolished by 2028. The Indiana State Prison’s adjacency to major residential and visitor assets in Michigan City is a barrier to economic growth. The Reimagining Michigan City – Prison Relocation Study is a comprehensive impact study of moving the prison out of downtown Michigan City/the lakefront, and reimagining that land for recreation, retail, restaurant, residential, and mixed-use space. This will create an opportunity for Northwest Indiana to grow talent, attract investment and raise per capita income, while tying together the TDDs of the soon to be double tracked commuter rail line and reclamation of the lakefront. The Brookings Institute’s Bass Center for Transformative Placemaking & the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) are currently working with the EDCMC and have created a playbook, after a year of community convening, to be published nationally as a guide for other small cities, that will help transform the East/West Side and Midtown Corridor of Michigan City, as these areas have historically not seen investment. This study will further the work of the Brookings/LISC study, particularly in regard to Agenda Item 6.1, “Advocate to Transform Legacy Sites – Explore State Prison Reuse Options.” The goal of these efforts is to create a resilient development of this site that will by virtue of its redevelopment create additional value and amenities for the existing neighborhood. Ideally it will reconnect the site seamlessly into the existing neighborhood, as well as provide more direct access to the Indiana National Dunes Park. With this in mind, the mixture and location of various land uses must be carefully evaluated. An important component of this exercise will be engagement of stakeholders and gaining support from the adjacent residents/businesses. Paramount to the analysis and engagement is crafting a strategy based on accurate data that will lead to a realistic actionable redevelopment of the site that benefits Michigan City residents and businesses alike. With any use that is over one-hundred years old there will be environmental concerns and remediation. This study is not meant to tackle all the analysis that will need to be completed. However, the intention is to determine what environmental and historical review will need to be completed. As part of this analysis the goal is to determine best practices and assemble all existing available information.

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