Market Analysis for the City of Gary Comprehensive Plan

SB Friedman was part of a team headed by Bauer Latoza that was engaged by the City of Gary and the Gary/East Chicago/Hammond Empowerment Zone to update their Comprehensive Plan. SB Friedman’s role in the planning process was to assess the competitive position of the City in relation to the regional market, to evaluate opportunities for future economic and residential growth, and to provide further guidance to the City’s land use plan.

For retail/commercial uses, we completed a detailed inventory of businesses within the seven major commercial corridors in the City and profiled the competitive retail clusters in the surrounding community. While the City of Gary is surrounded by significant clusters of major retail destinations, the analysis of retail uses found significant gaps in the market and potential for national retailers that target moderate- and low-income households. SB Friedman used a retail gravity modeling analysis to predict future sales of potential supportable stores and demonstrated that these stores would likely perform successfully in terms of sales.

Building on the Northwest Indiana Economic Futures Study recently completed by SB Friedman and an analysis of CoStar data of historical industrial/business development along the I-80 corridor, we identified the type of industrial/business development opportunities and the potential locations within the City needed to realize these opportunities.

For residential uses, we researched the various product types that were being developed in the market and the performance of comparable projects in terms of sales prices, product characteristics and absorption rates. Based on a review of demographic projections and the performance of residential projects being developed, we identified future residential development opportunities in different parts of the City and made recommendations for promoting such development.

SB Friedman worked with the design team to develop market-responsive concept plans for areas subject to change within 11 planning subareas within the City. The future land use plan and economic development recommendations of the comprehensive plan was based on these concept plans. The final comprehensive plan document was submitted to the City in December 2008.

Results: On February 3, 2009, the Common Council unanimously approved and accepted the comprehensive plan as the official land use plan for the City of Gary.