$240 million mixed-use development for Michigan City – Inside INdiana Business

Artist’s rendering of a mixed-use development in Michigan City. (courtesy of YAB Development)

Indianapolis-based developer Tom Dakich says he’s ‘sick and tired’ of Illinois residents driving through northwest Indiana en route to southwest Michigan to spend their weekends and their money. Dakich, as part of YAB Development Partners, said a $240 million mixed-use development in downtown Michigan City appears to be on track for a groundbreaking ceremony later this year. The project, called SoLa Development, will include two hotels, luxury condominiums and retail space on a vacant lot known as the “You Are Beautiful” site.

In an interview with Inside Indiana Business, Dakich said the project would give people, whether commuters or tourists, another reason to get off the highway.

“People drive through it from Illinois to southwest Michigan. It’s good, you do that. But I think we can stop it,” Dakich said.

LISTEN: Dakich further explains why he thinks the time is right for this Michigan City development.

Dakich says the development, originally announced in March, includes two Wyndham Hotel-branded properties that will offer 235 rooms and a 12-story structure with views of Lake Michigan. The initial project had a hotel. The project also includes 145 condominiums and 19 duplex houses. Dakich says the YAB property will include approximately 30,000 square feet of retail space, including a grocery store and an urgent care medical clinic.

While the initial investment is $240 million, Dakich estimates the project will have an estimated total economic impact of $680 million over the next 15 years, including $123 million in total tax revenue.

“It’s a big number. Taxes of that $123 million for taxes that will be paid for people who live outside of Indiana, either by moving here or by creating their second home. That’s what’s going to happen through this project,” Dakich said.

He says it will create about 275 full-time, year-round jobs and hundreds more seasonal jobs.

The property is within walking distance of the commuter line, but just as importantly, it is a short distance from Lake Michigan and its beaches.

“Bringing that money to Indiana and making Michigan City not just a place where people pass by as they go to Michigan, but stay here and see the benefits of the marina and the dunes and the mall and the casino and, and all of that is our goal,” said Dakich, who grew up in northwest Indiana. to be a very good resort town and beach facility,”

He predicts that his project will bring 100,000 hotel stays each year.

“It doesn’t include those kinds of things that are going to be ancillary restaurants that are going to pop up, I strongly believe we’re going to fill that,” Dakich said.

Dakich said the $649 million Double Track rail project was key in deciding whether to go ahead with the project. The project will add 17 miles of new track, parallel to the existing line, from Michigan City to Gary. The Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District, which operates the South Shore Line, plans to cut travel time from Michigan City to Millennium Park in Chicago by 33 minutes.

“I think we’re doing a better job of showing the world, ‘Don’t drive by us. Don’t fly over us. Give us a look,'” Dakick said.

Dakich credits organizations, like the Northwest Indiana Regional Partnership, with bringing Illinois residents and businesses to the Hoosier State.

“And that must continue. It must continue. We don’t need to think of ourselves as Chicago being this great, wonderful place. No, we also have our elements, and they are damn good, ”said Dakich.

Dakich says the development team has funding in place. He says the project also has support from local and state economic development officials.

Tentative plans call for groundbreaking in the fourth quarter of 2022 with the opening targeted for Memorial Day 2024.

The YAB project is one of many mixed-use developments announced for the city. Indianapolis-based Flaherty and Collins announced plans in February for an $80 million, 12-story project. Like, YAB, Flaherty and Collins said the Double Track project was essential.

Dakich says Michigan City is on the path to big change.

“I believe that in five years, Michigan City will be completely different. And we are only part of that.

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