Gary, Ind., moves ahead with Jackson museum

In this June 25, 2009 photo, fans and visitors stand in front of the childhood home of pop star Michael Jackson in Gary, Ind. (AP photo by John Smierciak)

June 22, 2010 5:28:49 AM PDT
Work may begin next year on a $300 million complex in Gary, Indiana to honor Michael Jackson. It would include a museum and a performing arts center.

Joe Jackson, Michael's father, joined Gary's mayor, Rudy Clay, to announce plans Wednesday to build the Jackson Family Museum and Hotel and the Michael Jackson Performing Arts and Cultural Center and Theaters near Interstate 80/94 on mostly golf and park property.

Many cities around the world courted the family for the complex but they decided on their home town.

"Remember the song that says 'I'm going back to Indiana, Indiana, here I come.' Well, we are coming back, and we are bringing something back," said Jackson.

The mayor said the taxpayers will not pay for the project. It will be funded by the Jackson Foundation and investors.

Many believe the massive project is expected to be a magnet bringing in people from all over the world, including investors and businesses, and many believe it will back hope to Gary, Indiana.

"One hundred million dolloars to $150 million will come into our community," said Mayor Clay.

"It's important for businesses because our tax base has eroded," said Chuck Hughes.

Joe Jackson dropped by his home at 2300 Jackson Street Wednesday morning. The 300 acres of land for the center were transferred from the city to the Jackson Family Foundation. The complex will include world class hotels, restaurants, a golf course, retail stores and housing.

"Fabulous opportunity for job creation, bringing in people from all over the world," said Renee Brantley, Gary resident.

The foundation also plans to provide scholarships to students.

"I'm just carrying out his legacy. He wanted to come back here and we're bringing him back," said Jackson.


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