Bond sale for Gary bank project OK’d
By Carole Carlson firstname.lastname@example.org/302-0949 April 23, 2014 6:54PM
The historic Gary State Bank building has a few tenants now, but a local development group that is purchasing the historic building at 5th and Broadway in downtown Gary hopes to redevelop the site to lure even more tenants. | Post-Tribune File Photo
Updated: May 25, 2014 3:44PM
GARY — Praising the project as another sign of hope for revitalizing the downtown area, the city council has unanimously approved selling $2.8 million in revenue bonds for the renovation of the former Gary State Bank building at 504 Broadway.
The council’s action at a special meeting Tuesday sends the bond issue to the redevelopment commission for final action.
Several council members referred to Gary’s dire financial struggles in recent years, noting that others had declared the city “dead.”
Councilwoman Mary Brown, D-3rd, remembered that period.
“I can say it does my heart good to see these people,” referring to Gateway Partners LLC, the developer of the project. “I believe it’s an excellent start for us, and we’d be foolish to pass this opportunity up.”
Gateway Partners plans to renovate the 10-story, century-old building, and Centier Bank has agreed to open a full-service bank in the lobby. Exterior renovations call for a drive-thru window and parking for bank customers.
The economic development commission backed the building renovation last week, although member Marion Williams voted against the bond issue, saying Gateway Partners should be investing its money.
Resident Jim Nowacki voiced the same objection to the city council on Tuesday, saying Gateway “should have skin in the game.”