The challenges and opportunities of Gary at its turning point

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New business is breathing life into an Indiana town that's been struggling for decades.

Gary, Indiana was once a bustling city in the 1960s. Then it declined.

But now city leaders say Gary is at a turning point and young business owners are leading the way.

A few of them spoke about the challenge and opportunity.

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5 comments

  • Jim Haughey

    To editors on this story;
    Wish that 2 people were included in your story. Realtor Gene Ayers whose selling property by the lake & George Rogge whose assisting in new biz development on the outskirts of the town along Rt 12 near County Line Rd. They have a pulse on the prospects of near term prosperity here in the area .

    The brewery is a great addition. ..no doubt. Miller Beach Market (not mentioned) has withstood the test of time with owning her grocery store and beach hut by Marquette Park
    Best kept secret here is the Flamingo ( not mentioned) & summer weekends on the beach
    ( beaches , not mentioned) from Marquette Park east to Wells Street Beach

    Give this report another look & hook up with places mentioned for a more in depth story. You were just given the answers to the test ….

  • D. Yaros

    Gary, indeed, does have a ton of potential. However, another tattoo parlor is not going to turn the city around! The place is primed for a transportation hub; what with the lake, rail, highways and airport. Why cannot anyone see that, and organize a coordinated effort to develop/sell those assets?

    The interviewee was correct when s/he said most folk know nothing of the rich history of Gary, only the negative. The term “urban pioneer” is more than apt when referring to entrepreneurial activity in Gary.

    • K. Terry

      Someone should make sure the NWI Regional Development Authority is exposed to the suggestions, and comments shared here, which can help in revitalization of Gary. Heads up Mayor Karen Freeman Wilson, and Spiros Batistatos.

  • Mary Ann Best

    Jim – I agree – there are more that can be highlighted! But good talk is always a positive. It’s a great community. Long time families of Miller who have been there for 30 – 80 – yes 80 years know the value and how special this place is! People who have called it home for 10 – 15 years will become those in the 30+ group and the newest residents to ‘discover’ it, mostly by visiting a friend and then wanting to spend more and more time here- all love Miller. Miller has businesses that have endured the ups and downs, has seen businesses and people come and go and are thrilled to see new opportunities coming in. Miller is small town, Miller is part of Gary and we are proud to call it Miller; just as Lincoln Park and Hyde Park are proud of their communities; Ogden Dunes is part of Portage ect… Miller residents shop local and do all they can to support local businesses. Just like many towns that have fallen due to many factors, when it has the roots that Miller has – it will survive, reinvent itself – be the natural beauty that it is!

  • Meg Roman

    The RDA and Mayor Freeman Wilson are already involved in efforts involving the transportation hub, lake etc. as are many others in Gary / Miller. The Miller Beach Arts & Creative District and others have been involved with the national initiative Strong Cities Strong Communities for over a year – with much of their plans for a Transportation Oriented Development (TOD) and other improvements having been adopted by SC2 and currently moving forward. Along with Miller recently being awarded the Neighborhood Spotlight community from Legacy Foundation there are lots of great uplifting things that are happening and Miller is on the rise again. 2 new shops have / are opening on Lake Street this month. It takes a village, but we’re getting there.