This map shows development suggested in a new master plan for a core section of Hohman Avenue in downtown Hammond. Provided image
This map shows development suggested in a new master plan for a core section of Hohman Avenue in downtown Hammond. Provided image
HAMMOND — The city is seeking proposals from developers to purchase and transform a key downtown site into a multi-use residential building with 200-plus units and retail and commercial space on the ground floor to complement a planned plaza and the city's downtown revitalization efforts.

City staff said interested developers should respond with project concepts consistent with the city's new downtown master plan and development standards.

“This first step is crucial in setting the tone for downtown Hammond’s future,” Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. said. "The city is moving forward with its new Master Plan from Jeff Speck and Associates and the interest we’re receiving from developers already is outstanding. With the new downtown Hammond train station cementing this area of our city, the heart of our community is already beating again.”

The 3.5-acre site consists of seven parcels for purchase. The larger section is bounded by Rimbach Street to the south, Sibley Street to the north, Hohman Avenue to the east, and Morton Court to the west. A second, smaller parking lot, bounded by Rimbach to the north and Hohman to the east, should also be included in any project proposals.

A new multi-family rental development with retail along Hohman Avenue should bring more than 200 apartments to the underutilized public parking lot in the area, the city said.

"A new train station promises to create value within the downtown area, and a new generation of households has shown a clear preference for urban living, at the same time that baby boomers are looking to move back to city centers. These developments create the potential for change," the city said when issuing the request for proposals.

The development should include a smaller building across Rimbach to help frame the planned plaza there and give life to this important corner, the city said. Adaptive reuse of adjacent flagship buildings should add hundreds more housing units and rehabilitated retail to downtown while preserving signature examples of its architectural heritage.

"Together, these infusions of new residents and amenities should add substantial new life to downtown streets and jump start its revitalization," the city said.

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