Old Goerg’s Marina Becomes A Public Park
BY STEPHANIE KUSCHEL – Michigan City News Dispatch – Dec 11, 2012
Demolition is under way at the site of the Old Goerg’s Marina, formerly located between the Franklin Street Bridge and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Demolition teams razed the building last week in preparation for the city’s plans to install a waterfront park at the site by Memorial Day.
Jason Creasbaum, a project manager for G.E. Marshall, Inc. (the contractor hired on for the project), said the park will include two rows of diagonal parking, an American Disability Act (ADA) compliant walkway down to the waterfront, and a special green space – a bioswale, designed to remove pollution from surface water runoff.
Michigan City Mayor Ron Meer said the project is the result of deal that has been four years in the making.
In the late ’90s, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) bought the Old Goerg’s Marina with the intention of using the building for expansion, but in 2002, the project was dropped when funding “dried up,” according to Brian Breidert, a biologist and property manager of the Michigan City DNR office.
Several years later, the Michigan City Port Authority struck a deal with the Indiana DNR and the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) to acquire the property. In exchange for purchasing the Ace building, near Brandt’s Old Fashioned Emporium, 309 W. U.S. Highway 12, the DNR and INDOT would raze the building and build a public park on top of it.
According to Tim Frame, harbormaster of the Michigan City Port Authority, the city spent approximately $280,000 to purchase the Ace building, and the DNR and INDOT agreed to pay approximately $750,000 to fund the demolition and construction of the park.
“It was definitely a great deal for the city,” Frame said.
However, in February 2012 Mayor Ron Meer said the demolition of the Old Goerg’s Marina was on hold as the city waited for the DNR to deliver on its end of the deal.
Soon after, Meer said he contacted State Sen. Jim Arnold, (D-La Porte) who Meer said, “really helped to get the ball rolling,” with the DNR.
Many more phone calls and emails later, Meer said the project had finally got going, and the result, he said was worth the trouble.
“The view, already, is a lot better,” Meer said. “With the demolition of the Old Goerg’s Marina and the cleanup of Fedder’s Alley the sight line to the lake has really improved.”