Northwest Indiana Convention Center

In 2017, CSL was engaged by the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) to provide a market validation and financial feasibility study associated with a potential new convention center in Northwest Indiana.  In addition to the RDA, CSL coordinated with a Steering Committee consisting of representatives from the South Shore Convention and Visitor Authority, local municipalities, economic development organizations and other local stakeholder groups to build consensus on the study process and results. 

Lake County is situated along the southern shores of Lake Michigan, and shares its western border with Chicago and other eastern Illinois cities.  It is the second most populous county in Indiana, yet it currently does not offer a convention facility capable of hosting state and regional association, corporate, public/consumer show, amateur sports or other similar events. As such, the first step in our analysis was to determine the market for these types of events in Lake County and identify the appropriate size and mix of event spaces to best accommodate this demand.  Based on this market validation study, CSL identified and evaluated sites/locations throughout Lake County that would be best suited for establishing the facility based on the potential economic and funding implications associated with each opportunity. 

As part of this process, CSL conducted extensive community outreach, including in-person and telephone interviews with nearly 100 Lake County community stakeholders.  Additionally, we surveyed nearly 150 events representing the potential market for a new convention center in Lake County.  Coupled with detailed analysis of the competitive markets throughout both the greater Chicago Metro Area and the state of Indiana, we developed recommendations for a supportable building program of event space.  The final phase of the study involved analyses of construction costs, financial operations, economic impacts, and funding opportunities. 

More recently, CSL has been retained to assist various local stakeholders evaluate new site and public/private partnership (P3) opportunities.