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Three Michiana hometowns apply to be on new HGTV show

Multiple Michiana cities and towns recently submitted video applications in the hopes of being chosen for a new HGTV show called “Home Town Takeover.”

Niles, Michigan, LaGrange, Indiana and La Porte, Indiana all created short videos explaining why their cities and town should be considered for the show, which is set to air in 2021.

Towns selected for the six-episode special can expect to see the rehabilitation of individual family homes and the revitalization of public spaces like parks and restaurants, according to HGTV.

The show will be hosted by Ben and Erin Napier, who host the current HGTV series “Home Town.” Applications are currently under review.

Niles, Michigan

Niles native Charles Nelson put together the video for his hometown, donating his time and resources for the cause that’s close to his heart.

“We believe in the city,” Nelson said.

Nelson put the video together in under 48 hours with the help of his wife, Jessica, a city council member.

“On Wednesday, my wife and I wrote the script for the video. On Wednesday evening, we recorded Mayor Shelton’s voice-over and his on-camera sit-down and then Thursday and Friday we edited it and got it submitted in time for the contest,” Nelson said. “We really focused on telling the story of Niles in a very concise way.”

Niles sits in the southwest corner of Michigan and as of the 2010 U.S. Census, 11,600 people call it home.

The video, which is just under two minutes long, tells the story of Niles’ history as well as what Nelson refers to as the city’s resurgence.

“We’re on this comeback now, we have all of these businesses opening downtown, we have young entrepreneurs, everybody is excited, we have people who want to be in Niles,” Nelson said.

Niles saw an influx of new businesses to its downtown area during 2019, including a tea shop, a gym, and restaurants.

Nelson believes if Niles is selected for the show, the community might regain a bit more pride in the city.

La Porte, Indiana

La Porte Mayor Tom Dermody said that the city needs the help of someone of HGTV’s caliber to clean up his hometown.

“People in La Porte are ready for that high expectation, that growth and that belief that we can compete with anyone,” Dermody said.

The city’s video application is about a minute and thirty seconds long and gives outsiders a glimpse at a downtown that, while lined with some dilapidated buildings, is rich with history and hope.

“We have six lakes here, the mural we just did of how proud we are of our history, and this is a place that is just second to none. We’re an hour from Chicago. We’re on the edge of everything,” Dermody said.

Community members gathered together for the video, appealing to HGTV for help rebuilding La Porte into what they want it to be.

“La Porte means the door. We ask you to come here, walk through our front doors and help remake our home. To shine it up, but save the good stuff,” the video’s narrator said.

The video application was put together by a team of people comprised of Dermody’s wife, Jackie, Tim Franke of Duneland Media and Ryan and Jennifer Juszkiewicz of Electro Film Productions over the course of a few weeks.

LaGrange, Indiana

Comments on LaGrange’s video application for the new HGTV show are those of excitement.

One social media user said “let’s fix her up and show her off to the world.”

The town submitted a video that’s just under four minutes long and has, as of this writing, been viewed over 12,000 times. It details a story of a small Indiana town, working to rebuild after a devastating fire in 2017.

Nancy Flores, the Main Street Program co-chair, is spearheading the project. Ripcord Media Production put the video together.

“We really need our town revitalized because there’s not a lot going on downtown here. We need help,” said Michelle Chrisman, manager at Fultz Bakery.

Chrisman appeared in the video, saying that a fire in the town burned some of her favorite businesses down.

“They need to help us desperately so that we can look good again,” Chrisman said. “We need something to build us back up.”

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