City of Portage, Indiana

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Portage efforts to create a downtown moving forward

Northwest Indiana Times 

Joyce Russell joyce.russell@nwi.com, 219-548-4352
Mar 5, 2018

PORTAGE — For nearly two decades and through four administrations, officials have been carving out a city center.
The downtown, often defined as between Hamstrom and Willowcreek roads and Central Avenue and the Indiana Toll Road, is taking shape.
The idea was introduced by Mayor Sammie Maletta. His successors, Doug Olson, Olga Velazquez and James Snyder, continued the vision and, sometimes slowly, began putting the pieces in place.
 
Founders Square Park was officially under construction in 2005. From that bare-bones park, development has taken place, both on the public and private sides.
The park itself has developed into a community town square. The splash pad was added first, then last year came Hannah's Hope all-inclusive playground.
Founders Square Park has become home to numerous city and privately sponsored festivals, from a food truck festival to brew fest to hosting concerts throughout the summer.
 
Immediately to the north is a new city fire station. Sandwiched in between is the open-air amphitheater.
Just to the west, what was originally named the University Center and set to house educational facilities was revamped into the city's new police station.
 
The public development has been matched by private investment.
Holladay Properties is in the midst of constructing a $40 million residential/retail development, Promenade at Founders Square, which will circle Founders Square Park and give the area the look of a downtown.

The first of the proposed nine apartment buildings is slated to open in May. The first floors of several of the buildings will house spaces for retailers, including restaurants.
With the easternmost portion of the downtown under construction, officials took initial steps in 2017 to plan for the development to continue a westward movement, including improvements to the Portage Mall area and potentially a new city hall.


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6070 Central Ave
Portage, IN 46368
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