The Board of Directors of the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority has approved a 200-thousand dollar matching grant for demolition and cleanup work along the 25-hundred block of New York Avenue on the north side of Hammond. RDA President and CEO Bill Hanna said private developers and Calumet College of St. Joseph have expressed interest in building housing and dormitories in this area if vacant buildings are removed. City officials say tearing down the old vacant Amoco Oil Company Research and Development Laboratory will create about 18-million dollars in development opportunities.
The grant comes under the RDA’s Challenge Grant program, which offers awards of up to $200,000 for local projects of regional significance. Other Challenge Grant recipients include the City of Gary and the Town of Pines. The RDA says the grant will supplement $800,000 from Hammond for the work.