Hamlet Town Council President Looking to Boost Residential Development

The Town of Hamlet is ready for residential development, according to Town Council President Dave Kesvormas. He discussed the issue with Starke County Economic Development Foundation Board President Larry Wickert Wednesday, during the foundation’s monthly report to council members.

Kesvormas noted that Hamlet has seen a lot of turnover in the past couple years. “A lot of people from Michigan City, a lot of people from Valparaiso, a lot of people from LaPorte are all kind of fanning out this way,” he said. “People are dying off, moving off to Florida, wherever they’re moving. Nothing stays for sale in town long. Am I right, when it comes to some of the rental houses and the for-sale houses? They change hands pretty quick here, lately. So that tells me, almost, that we need to probably attract somebody that would be into developing a couple of houses for us.” Council members said there are a few potential sites that might be suitable for a housing development.

Kesvormas added that Hamlet has many selling points. “This is a hot market,” he said. “We’re right here by the highway, and the funny thing in this is when I tell people – I work in Chicago, Hammond, Munster, Gary, in that whole area. That’s where I’m at, and people say, ‘You drive all the way that far?’ I say, ‘It’s only an hour, and I’m right there on the highways and all that other stuff.’ And they’re figuring out, ‘Well, how much are your taxes?’ My boss lives in Tinley Park, and his taxes are $8,800 a year. ‘How much are your taxes?’ Eight hundred bucks.”

He also said the town is making progress on some long-term goals. “When Brian [Earnest] and I came on eight years ago, seven years, six years ago, whatever it was, one of the big things we threw out there was a sidewalk from here in town to go out to the trailer park and 30, and that’s a reality now. It’s going to happen soon.”

During his report, Wickert stressed the importance of attracting new residents in order to attract larger industries. He offered to put town officials in contact with some home developers.