Tag Archives: Marquette Park

Violation of Public Trust-Gary Deeds Beach to Redevelopment

18 Dec

by Ken Davidson

The City of Gary has put up to 90 acres of Marquette Park at risk. At a recent meeting of the Baord of Public Works, the City deeded approximately 90 acres of prime beach land to the Department of Redevelopment. The transfer went unnoticed until it was brought to the attention of the press and the Board by activist Jim Nowacki. The Board and the Department assured all involved that the transaction was a mistake and would be remedied. Today corporation counsel Niquelle Allen flatly denied that the transfer was an error. According to Nowacki, he asked Ms. Allen pointedly why the property was not transferred back to the City. “I asked three times” Nowacki said. Her response was clear and to the point, it was not a mistake. The transfer was what the City intended.

    What is at stake:

 
The property in question includes more than 2500 feet of beach frontage. It also includes a large portion of Marquette Park, which the Regional Development Authority just spent millions to renovate. Although the transfer does not include the pavillion, it does include lands adjacent to the pavilion. The property is described in the GIS system as:

5600-6400 Indian Boundary Appr. Gary: ALL N. TEN MILE LINE & w. OF RIV. S. 31 T. 37
R. 7 90.031 ACRES

The land in question begins at the old US Marine Corps reserve center and runs east to the edge of the Marquette Park parking lot. The understanding of most was that the area west of Lake Street, approximately 4 acres, was to be set aside for redevelopment. One activist stated “you don’t violate the public trust for strangers” implying that there was some plan to transfer the property to a political insider. The transfer apparently leaves the entire parcel open for development.

Calls to Mr. Van Dyk, director of the Department of Redevelopment and to Niquelle Allen, Corporation Counsel had not been returned at the time of this writing.

EXPERT: FAA Says Hammond Air Show Not Possible

27 Nov

by Ken Davidson

Rudy Malnati, CEO of Midwest Air Shows, Inc, spoke exclusively to the Gazette today.   Malnati makes it clear that he looked at every option to bring the Gary Air Show to the Whiting/Robertsdale area.  “The FAA requires a 5 mile ring which makes the Whiting location impossible if you have jets or military aircraft” Malnati said.  Even without military aircraft, the required 3 mile requirement could not be met according to Malnati.  “We looked at every possible option . . . believe me, I would rather have it in Hammond.” He said.   Malnati manages air shows for Chicago, Milwaukee, and Rockford.

These comments echo the statements of South Shore Convention and Visitor’s Bureau President and CEO Speros Batistatos.  In a conversation, Batistatos made clear the choice presented to him was not Gary or Fair Oaks.  “The choice was whether we would have an air show or not” Batistatos replied when asked about the decision to hold the event at Fair Oaks.  “I would love to keep it on the lake . . . Marquette Park (in Gary’s Miller section) was designed in no small way to accomodate the air show.”  The public-private partnership with Fair Oaks will provide the best event according to Batistatos.  “Fair Oaks is a local business that is globally recognized for innovation.”  He stated.  

Batistatos admitted that he had not thought about public transportation prior to being asked on a radio show about the issue but replied “We have worked with Everybody Counts in the past.  Trustee Frank MrVan and Everybody Counts have cooperated to get people to events [such as the Lake County Fair].”  When asked if local parking and public transit could be  a way for local communities to capitalize on the event Batistatos replied “I am open to any conversation about making this event a success.”  “We are an organization of action.” He concluded. 

 

 

 

South Shore Air Show Moves to Fair Oaks

21 Nov

Gazette Staff

 

Hammond, IN (November 21, 2013) – The South Shore Air Show will return in 2014 at a new location. Speros A. Batistatos, president and CEO of the South Shore Convention and Visitors Authority, and Gary Corbett, CEO of Fair Oaks Farms, announced that Fair Oaks Farms will play backdrop to the event at a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 21.

“When making the decision to bring the air show back, the South Shore CVA staff wanted to bring it back bigger and better than ever,” Batistatos stated. With the recent cancellation of the Indy Air Show, the move will draw even more visitors, Batistatos explained. Fair Oaks Farms is situated between Chicago and Indianapolis, opening the event up to potential attendees who may not have attended the event in Miller Beach.

Fair Oaks Farms is a 33,000 acre attraction, allowing the two organizations ample room to make additions to the family-fun event.

“Hosting an air show at a tourism destination, like Fair Oaks Farms, has yet to be done in the United States,” said Batistatos. “We have a real opportunity to bring in new facets to an event that is already a ‘must-attend’ for residents and visitors.”

Additionally, Batistatos believes hosting the air show at Fair Oaks Farms will challenge conventional thinking on space used for events along the South Shore.

“Northwest Indiana is such a unique area. There are many different features that can be highlighted and tailored to make an event truly special and successful,” said Batistatos.

According to Batistatos, Fair Oaks Farms enthusiastically agreed to partner for the 2014 air show.

“Fair Oaks Farms is transitioning and growing at an exponential rate,” said Batistatos. “With breaking ground for a restaurant and discussion for the additions of a hotel and indoor water park, Fair Oaks Farms has positioned themselves to being leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry.”

South Shore Air Show attendees will be able to enjoy the traditional, exciting aerial acrobatics in addition to exploring all Fair Oaks Farms has to offer. With the recent addition of The Pig Adventure, Fair Oaks Farms has numerous educational and entertaining activities for all ages. Proposed additions to the air show include a car show and live music entertainment.

Previously, the South Shore Air Show has been held on the beaches of Marquette Park in the Miller Beach section of Gary. In 2012, the air show saw an estimated 570,000 attendees over the three-day event which included numerous aerial acts, a twilight night show with fireworks, kids’ zone, beer garden, food vendors, charity event and VIP receptions. The 14th annual South Shore Air Show was canceled due to the impacts of sequestration.

“The South Shore CVA Board of Directors and staff, as well as Fair Oaks Farms, are very excited for the opportunity of presenting a reconfigured, unique visitor experience,” stated Batistatos.

Dates for the 2014 South Shore Air Show will be announced in the coming months. For additional information on the air show, contact Nicki Mackowski-Gladstone, vice president and chief communications officer for the South Shore CVA, at 219-554-2720 or nicki@southshorecva.com

Fair Oaks to host South Shore Air Show

South Shore Air Show moved from Gary, IN to Fair Oaks Farms.