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STORY 2 INSIDE Andrew Trella Gets the South Shore Cars
Back on Track in Chesterton
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT 4 DUNELAND CORPORATION PERSPECTIVES FOR GOOD EATS! 9 HONK Burns Harbor Food Truck Square INSIDE 12 STEP Allure on the Lake & StoryPoint HANDS 15 HELPING Chesterton Branding
ON THE COVER Andrew Trella
WAVES 17 MAKING Duneland Chamber Events PAD 24 LAUNCH Welcoming New Members
MEET THE TEAM
Chamber of Commerce
DUNELAND TODAY IS PUBLISHED BY Duneland Chamber of Commerce 220 Broadway â€˘ Chesterton, Indiana 46304 www.dunelandchamber.org 219.926.5513 COMMITTEE Publisher/ Duneland Chamber of Commerce Advisory Board/ Maura Durham, Duneland Chamber of Commerce Contributing Editor/ Heather Augustyn Marketing Director/ Beth Luncsford, Duneland Chamber of Commerce Copy Editor/ Janice Custer Photographer/ Kyle Telechan TO ADVERTISE: Contact Christina Miller at 219.926.5513 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Heather Augustyn / Contributing Editor Heather Augustyn is a Chesterton native. She is a continuing lecturer of composition at Purdue Northwest and was a newpaper jounalist for 12 years. She has published five books on ska music and lives in Chesterton with her husband and their two sons, Sid and Frank. Kyle Telechan / Photographer
Kyle Telechan, photographer, has done freelance work for the Times of Northwest Indiana since graduating from Indiana University in 2007 and has over eleven years of experience in photojournalism. His interest in nature, architecture, and urban decay drives much of his non-photojournalistic work. Kyle currently lives in Portage with his wife Elise.
Beth Luncsford / Graphic Designer
Beth has over 10 years of experience in the design and publishing industry. After obtaining her degree, she worked as a graphic artist for Lake Magazine and later Schofield Media in Chicago. A lifelong resident of northwest Indiana, Beth currently lives in Michigan City with her husband, Aaron, and their children, Jacob and Everly. DUNELAND TODAY
GETTING THE SOUTH SHORE CARS
Chesterton native Andrew Trella plans to bring Chesterton's historic South Shore train cars back to life.
n 1984, four South Shore train cars made their permanent home at 301 Grant Street after having been retired from their fleet the prior year. Since then, these four cars, which were developed into a retail and restaurant facility via an adjoining building and deck, have housed a number of businesses, including an antique store, office, fine dining restaurant, and pizza shop. Most recently, these historic train cars have been more than idle as they have sat vacant and awaiting economic development. Now Chesterton native Andrew Trella aims to get the South Shore cars back on track with plans for a restaurant and collaboration with the community. Trella purchased the property in November 2017 after driving by and seeing it was for sale. He had returned to Chesterton after living in Manhattan 2
Beach, California for 15 years. He says that the interest in the train cars came from a mixture of nostalgia and his background in real estate. “I remember growing up and they brought these South Shore train cars here and it was exciting. I drove by them last year and I thought, ‘I’ve always loved those trains.’ So I called a realtor and talked to the owner who was the nicest, dearest guy in the world. He had wanted to do something with them, but it just never happened. I just thought I should do something with these trains. Home is where the heart is, and for Chesterton, a staple part of the town are these trains,” he says. After attending college at Purdue University to study computers and electrical engineering, Trella worked on government projects in automation and communication, working for Motorola in Chicago
and on assignment in Washington, DC. He moved to California to follow his dream of working for NASA, but after the recession, engineering jobs on the West Coast were scarce. “There was a hiring freeze and I couldn’t find an engineering gig to save my life. So I decided to change careers. I got involved in financial planning and using mortgages as a way to accumulate wealth. I started as a mortgage broker and opened up my own company, focusing on financial planning, and I was making great money,” says Trella. “But I could see that the industry was moving too fast and the bubble burst worse than I could have imagined. I was between a rock and a hard place because I had all of these properties and big overhead.” Trella returned to engineering as a business development manager, covering 17 states on the West Coast.
The South Shore train cars were moved from service to 301 Grant Street in Chesterton in 1984.
But the pull back home was always strong for Trella. He had purchased a house in Chesterton during the years that he was a broker, and he still had a large family with roots in Chesterton as the youngest of seven children. Trella says that when his father became sick and needed in-home care, he heard the calling loud and clear. “I was fortunate enough to be able to come back from Californa to Chesterton for three months to help take care of my dad. The family decided that I would help my dad take care of himself. He got back to health, but
shortly after I returned back to California, he passed away. And about two years later, my mom had a health scare and so I moved back to Chesterton for good to take care of my mom. She is better and it brought me back to town,” he says. So with one foot in the nostalgia of his childhood love for trains, and another foot in the experience of real estate and business projects, Trella has set out on his next adventure—to bring the South Shore train cars at 301 Grant Street in Downtown Chesterton back to their glory. Though it’s still early and he has
many ideas and plans, he ultimately wants to turn the property into a fine dining restaurant. Trella says, “I want to do what’s best for the town and bring them back in the original South Shore colors. My brother is a fantastic chef and he’s helping me and he’s just amazing in the kitchen. It will be a lot of rehab work but once we get a kitchen in there, so many ideas will open up. It’s a little surreal. It’s scary but it’s exciting. I am very fortunate and I hope to make everybody happy. I will work with the community because I want to do my part and make sure it’s a good fit.”
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Duneland Economic Development Corporation Members left to right: David Heistand of Heistand Law Offices, Paul Boyter or McColly Real Estate, Lorelei Weimer of Indiana Dunes Tourism, Jim Anton of Anton Insurance, Marus Rogela of Town of Burns Harbor, Bernie Doyle of Town of Chesterton, and Maura Durham of Duneland Chamber of Commerce (not pictured: Bill Lopez of Town of Porter, Aco Sikoski of Ivy Tech Community College, and Mark Swanson of Brainstorm Computers)
he Duneland Economic Development
place. Helping to keep all of the communities’ in-
that benefitted from that. The second part of the
Corporation, also known as the DEDC,
terests in mind and finding funding for sustainable
DEDC was that it enabled a representative from
was established to work with all of the
projects is the mission of the DEDC.
Chesterton, Porter, and Burns Harbor to sit down
communities in the Duneland Area. Because local
DEDC Member and Chesterton Town Man-
stakeholders in the region recognize that economic
ager Bernie Doyle states, “The DEDC has been
development is a vital component to any area and
a valuable tool on two fronts. We were the care-
Over the years, the DEDC has accomplished
the Duneland Community is no different, they set
takers of money from the county for years. This
much, and they continue to work toward smart
up the DEDC to ensure smart growth and protect-
was money that was dispensed to other parts of
growth. We asked DEDC members about the
ing Duneland’s natural resources that make the
the county but in Duneland we can use that for
growth they have seen in Duneland in recent
south shore of Lake Michigan such an attractive
façade grants, and there are several businesses
months, as well as their plans for the future.
and talk in an informal setting about like problems that we share so we can come up with solutions.”
Bernie Doyle: “I’m encouraged by the Chesterton fiber optic network which is being funded through redevelopment money from our TIF district and repaid through user fees. NITCO is installing them and this will result in one big giant loop in town, connecting the schools and attracting businesses and professional firm to give them super high speed internet between Chicago and New York. It’s part of our longrange planning and we didn’t want Comcast or any other company to come in and do it. NITCO will manage it for us but we will own the fiber. Fiber has become what electricity was 50 years ago. If you want to be valuable to attracting businesses, you have to have fiber and that’s what Chesterton will have. We are hoping to be live this summer.” “I’m also encouraged by all of our healthcare services and the building that is going on, especially residential building. Between 2000 and 2010 we saw an increase in population of 24 % and between 2010 and 2020 we expect to meet or exceed that growth. The town continues to follow a policy of smart growth, deliberate and controlled growth, and it’s still bearing fruit for us. We’re a product of our own success. We have great schools, transportation access, proximity to lake, and the planners watch very carefully the development that’s going in to prevent unsustainable growth. I’d like to see Duneland continue with that policy of smart growth, to recruit the high tech/biomed industry, to continue to upgrade our infrastructure including sewer, lift stations, and fiber network, and to work with the surrounding communities to benefit our little corner of the world.”
Lorelei Weimer: “I’m really encouraged by the creation of the Chesterton Branding and Leadership Team and would like to see this same concept for Burns Harbor and Porter. In five years I would like to see the DEDC hire a full-time person devoted to economic development so that we can recruit, retain, and expand businesses. There is a lot to economic development, following leads, putting information together, and keeping this up to date on the website. We need someone devoted to going to businesses that exist to see how things are going and what needs they have.”
Maura Durham: “I’m excited to see new life breathed into the beautiful historic buildings which add so much charm to our downtown Chesterton. In five years, I would love to see more activity in Coffee Creek Park in Chesterton where we can expand on the business opportunities on the backside of Calumet, all while enjoying a stroll alongside Coffee Creek.”
Bill Lopez: “Duneland is working toward economic development that would utilize better the number of people coming to the area to visit the Indiana Dunes and National Lakeshore so that we can benefit from increased revenues without having a negative impact on the communities. There is a large potential that is not being tapped and considering that the National Lakeshore will be named a National Park.” DUNELAND TODAY
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CURRENTS Paul Boyter: “I'm excited to be a part of the DEDC. Seeing all of the department heads from Chesterton, Porter, Burns Harbor, along with local business leaders, working together to make Duneland a better place to live, work, learn, and play has been a real treat for me. This has been a great opportunity for me to see how everyone works together to bring businesses and events to our area.” “Recent successes include new construction homes that are being built throughout our communities this spring. The Village in Burns Harbor, Corlin's Landing, Parkwood Estates, and Harbor Trails are newer subdivisions in Burns Harbor. Porter has Summer Tree Town Homes, Mineral Springs, and Sugar Bush Subdivision off of Oakhill Road which all have homes being built this year. Chesterton has new homes going up in Easton Park, Brassie Estates, St. Andrews, Sand Creek, Morgan's Corner and Village Green of Coffee Creek, Country Creek, and The Preserve. In north Valparaiso, but in the Duneland School district, new homes are now being built in The Meadows of Timberland, Eagle Ridge, and High Meadows. People are looking for homes in our area because we are doing amazing things in the Duneland communities.”
Marcus Rogala: “I’ve involved myself with the tri-town movement, to come together to work with the NWI Forum and the DEDC to bring tourists to this area, to bring the two million visitors who come to the Dunes to come to the downtown bars and the Food Truck Square. We are seeing a lot more development in our Burns Harbor area. Chesterton seems to be doing well, bringing fiber, and we want to use that to tie the towns together. I’d love to bring even more tourists and trails to the region and I look forward to seeing future growth happen on I-94 and Highway 49, along with continued expansion in the Coffee Creek area. The increased population should make our downtown businesses and events better each year.”
Jim Anton: "If you haven’t heard of the Chesterton Fiber Optic Network (CFON), you could miss an opportunity to significantly enhance the speed of doing business. Also, Burns Harbor’s European Market on the Square is a great way to spend a Wednesday evening. Five years from now I think, based on the ground work that’s been laid, Duneland will be in the midst of a housing boom, as well as commercially reaping the benefits of the ever blossoming Baby Boomer generation."
David Hiestand: “I am looking for the Duneland community to continue growing as a live/work community. The community features so many wonderful quality-of-life opportunities that make it unique in Northwest Indiana. The renewed focus on our parks and community spaces shows this commitment to quality of life in our towns. Duneland has new restaurants with a few more planned and more senior living centers.”
Park Plays Bring your beach chair or blanket. Enjoy free* comedy, musical, drama, revue, improv, or Shakespeare on Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm, June 14-August 23 at the State Park Pavilion. See parkplays.org for schedule.
Drama in the Dunes Enjoy nature while learning skills as an actor or presenter. Listening, voice, diction, posture, gait, imitation, and analysis are all part of this repeatable weekly class. Thursdays at 2 pm. Just $3 per class when purchased as a season pass. See DramaInTheDunes.com to register.
Return to the days when history, dialog, entertainment, and lectures toured the country offering an opportunity to explore and engage with the world around you, while learning and experiencing the best speakers, teachers, and performers. August 16-19, 2018. Register at DunesChautauqua.org.
THE THING INDIANA DUNES STATE PARK SUMMER 2018
Da' Portable Rican will be at Burns Harbor's Food Truck Square serving up community food and fun.
HONK FOR GOOD EATS!
The Burns Harbor Food Truck Square Rolls Back Into Town
hree years ago, planners in Burns Harbor looked for a way to bring the community together and attract visitors to the town and found an immediate way to achieve that goal—the food truck. Marcus Rogala, Burns Harbor Council Member and redevelopment commission member says that breaking bread together is always a tasty way to deliver results. He explains, “We wanted to create a sense of place and there was a lot of need to have people be able to get food in town without going outside of town. We looked at towns like Atlanta where food trucks come out and there are vendors and bands and we thought we would like to try that here.” The Burns Harbor Food Truck Square began with only a couple of trucks and today has grown to be a community-wide attraction. “We host the event at the old Westport Community Club that was built by BethDUNELAND TODAY
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CURRENTS lehem Steel to help us incorporate into a town. It was torn down a few years ago and so this where the town decided we are turning it into a town center, a downtown. We are installing posts and lights. Additionally, we added a gravel driveway from our asphalt grindings from years of paving and it will be just like downtown Hobart where they have their Festival Park or Griffith where they have their market,” says Rogala. The event has grown over the years to include events and artists. Rogala continues, “This will be our third year. Last year it really took off and we had a coordinator come in to help. We themed the nights and did giveaways for our 50th anniversary of being a town. We had movie nights and kid-friendly nights and added sponsors. We will have food vendors every night and different types of desserts. We also have artist demonstrations from a local graffiti artist, classic car shows. And we teamed up with the Duneland Chamber this year to bring in interested European Market vendors. We host the Burns Harbor Food Truck Square on Wednesday nights from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. from May 30th through the end of September. For more information, go to burnsharbor-in.gov or call (219) 926-5513.”
MARKET SCHEDULE Every Wednesday May 30 - September 26 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm (Alcohol Served: May 30, June 20, July 18, August 15)
SPECIAL EVENTS: The Badge & You August 24 5:00 pm Blues Brews & BBQ September 15 5:00 pm Trunk or Treat October 12 5:00 pm
LOCATED ON THE HISTORIC FORMER SITE OF THE WESTPORT COMMUNITY CLUB — AT THE CORNER OF HAGLUND AND WESTPORT ROADS, OFF OF S.R. 149
Allure on the Lake Wedding Venue and Event Center Owner Troy Clark takes readers inside the doors of Allure on the Lake at 526 Indian Boundary Road in Chesterton. He states, “We have been open almost nine years in LaPorte where we specialize in wedding events. We do other events as well, but weddings are our primary focus. We bought this property in Chesterton one year ago this past January. We started doing an interior renovation and it took us a full year to renovate the facility. We poured a patio off the back for outside space to accommodate outdoor weddings so the couple can get married on the patio, have a cocktail hour, then the celebration can flow right inside for the dinner. We renovated the front portico, which is also a ceremony site. The facility in Chesterton holds over 400 people and we provide on-site catering with customized menus—everything from pizza buffets and taco bars, to fine dining.”
StoryPoint Judy Kukelka, business development specialist at StoryPoint, says that their facility will be open in late summer. “We offer independent living and enhanced living residences. We have 120 one- and two-bedroom apartments in our independent living residences, each with a full kitchen and common areas including three dining rooms—a café, bistro, and fine dining. There is a full-service gym, media room, and library. For our enhanced living residences, there are 42 apartments including studios, one and two bedrooms. These are smaller, more intimate apartments for residents who benefit from three meals a day and living on one level floor. StoryPoint is proud to come to Porter County and has a 35-year history in the Midwest. We consider our facility a ‘cruise on land,’ because we have all the high-end amenities but it still feels like home.”
Chesterton Branding Leadership Team Championing Chesterton!
early a decade ago, tourism officials, town officials and members of the public in Porter County worked together with consultants from Seattle-based Destination Development Inc. to discuss ways to brand the eight individual towns to attract visitors. Some of those efforts have been incorporated into marketing materials today, while other ideas were never pursued. So members of the business community in Chesterton have picked up that torch as members of the Chesterton Branding Leadership Team (CBLT) and they are working toward marketing, town beautification, business development, and economic development for the town. CBLT Member Lorelei Weimer, who is also executive director of Indiana Dunes Tourism, says that the group is working for the betterment of the community. “Chesterton had adopted an art brand during the initial project years ago, so we decided to continue with this brand. We modified the logo and solidified the slogan, ‘Celebrating the Art of Life.’ We created action teams to focus on five specific areas including marketing, infrastructure, business expansion and retention, financing, and art and beautification,” Weimer says. “We put together a list of things we’d like to see accomplished and we’ve met with town leaders, department heads, and community leaders. We are all coming together alongside the town to help projects move forward. There are no elected officials in the group.”
One project that the CBLT has spearheaded is Center; Brandon Bennett, Mainstreet Shoppes building branding the town’s garbage cans, for beautification owner; Steve Beigle, Circles in the Wind; Danielle Bilderand identification. Weimer says, “Street Commis- back, Dimensions School of Social Dance; Pat Carlisle, sioner John Schnadenberg has ordered 20 new garbage Chesterton Tree Committee; Brian Dortmund, Artsmith cans for the town. We worked with him as well as lo- Studio and Frontline Foundations Inc.; Maura Durham, cal artist Holly Jackson who donated her art design Duneland Chamber of Commerce; Jennifer Gadzala and so we can wrap these garbage cans. They will be out John Schnadenberg, Town of Chesterton; Mark Hopkins, for use soon.” Additional projects include finding ways Hopkins Ace Hardware; Wendy Marciniak, Chesterton to widen downtown sidewalks for alfresco dining, re- Art Center; Julie Paulson, Harris Welsh & Lukmann; and designing the town’s website for visitors, and events Richard Riley, Riley’s Railhouse. throughout the town. “It’s all about synergy. We meet twice a month and we really feel confident that we have found a formula that works. We have plans for projects that we will roll out in phase one, phase two, and phase three.” Weimer says that the group is comprised of leaders throughout the community. She states, “We put together a good mix of people to bring to the table and many of these people were not part of the original effort years ago, so we brought them up to speed on the history and told them that they were hand chosen because they will get things done. They all accepted the invitation,” says Weimer. This group includes Weimer; Craig O’Brien, Ashley’s Jewelry; Chris AcChesterton artist Holly Jackson stands with one of her pieces of art that will soon adorn downtown garbage cans in Chesterton. ton, Acton Creative and Chesterton Art
THOMAS CENTENNIAL PARK TRAIN CAR BATHROOMS FULL STEAM AHEAD! The Thomas Centennial Park Restrooms are on the track for the Duneland Community! Jennifer Gadzala, MS4 Coordinator, GIS Coordinator, and Coordinator of the Thomas Centennial Park Restroom and Caboose Project tells about the project that will bring a train boxcar into a much needed public restroom and a caboose into a fun community space in Thomas Centennial Park in downtown Chesterton. “There was a proposal for installing bathroom facilities in Thomas Centennial Park that came before the Chesterton Town Council a number of years ago, but the design was too expensive. Planners worked with Building Trades Program at Chesterton High School to bring the cost down, and worked with someone in design, but then it just kind of stalled. Then recently, the town’s park department completed the purchase and installation of the prefabricated bathroom in Dogwood Park as part of their park bond. Planners then had the idea to mimic that bathroom and install it in Thomas Centennial Park, and although it fit the utilitarian purpose, it didn’t fit the historic feel and charm of the downtown.” “Then Richard Riley of Riley’s Railhouse came
forward and suggested a boxcar to fit the look of the downtown. This became one of the biggest town/ public/community projects in the town’s history. There will be a box car converted into the bathroom with men’s and women’s restrooms, a baby changing station in both, and we will add automated locks so we can time the locks on the doors. The lights will be sensory activated. There will also be a utility closet in the center when you walk in. The caboose will be refurbished as well and turned into a warming/cooling station and activity car. We will restore the seating, add some seating, and add some tables so people can play chess or other games, and then it can also be rented for kids’ parties. There will be a charging station for phones and it will be nice for the European Market. We will then have a drinking fountain on the outside with a drinking dish for furry friends.” Completion is set for July and the architect on the project is Robert Nicksic of Giannini & Associates. A team of individuals have worked on this project, including Gadzala, Mark O’Dell, Emerson DeLaney, Richard Riley, John Schnadenberg, and
Town of Chesterton Project Coordinator Jennifer Gadzala, on left, and Parks Board vice president Candy Tucker pose for a photo on the future location of the restrooms.
Candy Tucker. The majority of the funds will come out of the 2015 park bond, and additional funding is provided through crowd funding, Patronicity, and CreatiINg Places from the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. Parks Partners include Hopkins Ace Hardware which has donated $2,500, First Source Bank which has donated $2,500, the Duneland Chamber of Commerce which donated $2,500, and Urschel Laboratories which has donated $10,000. DUNELAND TODAY
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OPENING DAY AT CHESTERTON'S EUROPEAN MARKET
Top left clockwise: Flowers for sale at the Market, Market musician being interviewed by AM 1420 WIMS, spring edition of the European Market tote bag, European Market staff Jackie Thomas, Chad Burns, and Chris Peffers, Market vendor helping customers, Carolyn Neary enjoying the day, and young performers from Premier Performance.
LAUNCHPAD Help us welcome the newest members of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce community. We look forward to a prosperous and profitable future.
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