American hotel management company White Lodging has unveiled a $350m plan to develop a mixed-use scheme at its hospitality site in Merrillville, Indiana, US.
The mixed-use concept, The Farm at Crossroad Commons, has been inspired by Indiana’s sustainable agricultural heritage and well-known moniker as the ‘Crossroads of America’.
Located at the corner of US Highway 30 and Interstate 65, the 40-acre redevelopment will support tourism and economic development through offerings that will be unique to the region.
The Farm at Crossroad Commons’ centrepiece is an education-based farm and greenhouse, a visitor’s centre, and indoor-outdoor meeting and event centre with more than 104,500ft² of flexible space.
The centrepiece elements will be supported by four hotels, a microbrewery, distillery, two restaurants, an art gallery and an office building.
The farm and greenhouse will support the project’s farm-to-table restaurants; offer hands-on agricultural-focused educational opportunities for visitors; and be a destination for farmer’s markets and other sustainable and health/wellness activities.
The four hotels will offer 520 guestrooms. While one hotel will be a full-service premium-branded hotel, two others will be select-service hotels, and another a bed-and-breakfast-style independent hotel.
The office building will offer more than 100,000ft² of Class A office space and will be marketable to existing local companies and those looking to relocate to northwest Indiana.
Two new farm-to-table restaurants will offer unique regional gourmet cuisine. A microbrewery and distillery will offer interactive tours and educational opportunities on top of locally-produced and sourced drinks.
A dedicated artist studio/gallery, supported by the Dean and Barbara White Family Foundation, will allow residencies for artists in any discipline.
Furthermore, the development will offer permanent residences through 18 townhouse units and 32 condominiums; and will also feature a 30,000ft² indoor arena for horseback riding and other agricultural-based educational activities and entertainment.
The site will provide more than 1,300 underground parking spaces.
The development is expected to create more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in addition to over 600 construction jobs during the three-year project.
White Lodging chairman Bruce White said: “This project will serve as a long-standing anchor for economic development and a true transformational destination for visitors to the Region – just as the Radisson and Star Plaza Theatre did for so many years.”
Image: An aerial image of White Lodging. Photo: Courtesy of White Lodging Services, Inc.