Hammering out the progress: A closer look at new developments in Munster

January 25, 2023


Damien Salahieh

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In recent months, Munster has been making strides towards positive growth. Centennial Village is well into development, and a new South Shore Line is being constructed. With the bar set for the future, what can we expect to see in the next few years?

Munster’s Expectations for the Future

In December 2022, MHS’ Student Government and the Civics club were invited to a planning meeting to receive feedback from residents about communal changes they envision for the future of the town.

“Seeing as there is a high percentage of kids who return to Munster as adults, the goal for these students was to give a fresh, young perspective on Munster’s infrastructure and long term plan,” Asha Patel, sophomore and  student government and Civics club member, said.

The majority of attendees agreed that Munster has no area designated for teens or students, like a downtown.  

“One of the most prevalent ideas of the meeting was the topic of a community center or downtown region of Munster,” Asha said. 

South Shore Line Railroad Extension

Currently, northwest Indiana is serviced by the South Shore Line, providing transportation to the Chicago and Cook County areas. As of 2015, the Northwest Indiana Commuter Transportation District has proposed the West Lake Corridor Project as an extension of the South Shore Line route to reach areas in Lake County, Indiana, Munster and West Lakes. The Project will expand the ability to reach Chicago easily, and provide transportation for students and community members to and from the city.

“I’m not to happy about the new line,” Kyle Farnell, junior, said. The new line will run right behind his house. “I see it as a waste of resources, several years ago it was decommissioned because there wasn’t really a need for one, so I don’t see why it’s back.”


Maple Leaf Crossing

Local developer Jay Lieser with 1st Metropolitan Builders has begun work on a four story office and retail complex. The complex will feature a design inspired by metal shipping containers. It will consist of two office buildings, a restaurant, and The School of Rock, a school of music for kids and adults.

“Munster is known for it’s first-class schools, homes and healthcare. With Maple Leaf Crossing, we will add professional and retail space to the list,” Lieser said on their website. “I live here, work here and raise my kids here. I am proud of our community and want to do my part to improve it.”

Bean Me Up Roastery

Bean Me Up, one of Centennial Village’s new featured businesses, is a newly opened cafe run by couple Michelle Mirelez and Nick Elizalde. The cafe opened in December, gaining traction from local families and park goers.

“Centennial Village was our first choice because it was right next to the park and there’s a lot of development happening in the area over the next few years,” Michelle said. “We wanted people to be able to walk to our shop and this location was able to satisfy that.”

Michelle and Nick both graduated from Lake County schools and hope to encourage students to visit their growing business.

“We want all students to know they are welcome here,” Michelle said. “If you bring your ID in, you can get a discount on your drink.”

Where is that? Locate yourself on the map

1. Chick & Shake
Chick & Shake is a Nashville chicken restaurant located right off of Calumet, taking the spot of The Simple Greek.
2. Bean Me Up
Bean Me Up is a new roastery run by a young couple. It doesn’t have a sign, but is located in the building behind Chick & Shake.
3. Rosebud Steakhouse
Rosebud is an authentic steakhouse serving quality meats in a fine-dining setting. This is a new one, an addition to their Chicago location.
4. Katie Rose Boutique
Katie Rose is a luxury boutique tailored to women, located next to Bean Me Up.
5. Net Par
Net Par is an indoor golf simulator
and bar located next to Bean Me Up
off of Village Drive.
6. Maple Leaf Crossing
Maple Leaf will be the office and retail complex featuring a restaurant and music studio.


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