The City of East Chicago requested five million dollars in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds and a RHTA Allocation for the North Harbor Revitalization Initiative (NHRI) Phase II Implementation.
North Harbor Potential
The North Harbor was once the civic and commercial center of our greater Indiana Harbor Community, but now the neighborhood is plagued by high levels of vacancy, abandonment and foreclosure. Though neglected for decades, the North Harbor’s potential is still evident due to:
- Location along Lake Michigan
- Presence of major employers
- Preservation of traditional neighborhood design and amenities
- Proximity (only 30 minutes) to downtown Chicago
In 2006, The City engaged the services of two nationally recognized experts in community revitalization, The Community Builders, Inc. and Hispanic Housing Development Corporation, to implement a viable revitalization strategy, thus NHRI was created.
NHRI Implementation Phase I and II focus on the clocks surrounding Main & Broadway’s intersection and are outlined in a comprehensive revitalization plan, “The Main & Broadway Strategy”:
- 75 Townhomes targeting working families making less that 60% Average Median Income (AMI)
- The acquisition, and when necessary demolition, of blighted and underutilized properties
- The expansion of Nunez park by 30% and upgrades to both Nunez and Callahan Parks
- An ordinance restricting alcohol sales, retail design guidelines, and rezoning to create a walkable, family-oriented mixed use district
- Pedestrian-oriented street reconstruction along Mani and Broadway
- Police Substation at the Main and Broadway anchoring new community safety measures, including police cameras and pedestrian lighting
- Renovation to convert the vacant Carnegie Library into a performing arts center
NHRI Phase I Implementation exceeds $31 Million in public and private investments, including a Rental Housing Tax Credit (RHTC) allocation and over $12 million in City funds. Residents and employers are taking notice of these investments and beginning to believe that North Harbor’s revitalization is possible. The revitalization is also gaining attention as East Chicago changes its image from a town on the decline tone that is reshaping itself to thrive in the 21st Century.