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Hammond breaks ground on final building in Oxbow Landing Development.

HAMMOND — When Mayor Thomas McDermott Jr. sent his son Chase off to law school, he assumed like many college graduates he'd end up taking a job somewhere far from home. Instead, his son now works in a new office tower the mayor helped pave the way for nearly two decades ago.

On Tuesday, the city and ATG Real Estate Development broke ground on Oxbow Landing's final multimillion-dollar, three-story office building at 2911 Carlson Drive. The 14,000-square-foot building will be occupied by an expanding Impact Networking and clear the way for an Oak Brook-based energy firm to relocate its corporate headquarters from Illinois to Hammond.

"River Park Apartments had seen its glory days, and its glory days had come and gone," McDermott said. "I made a promise to the voters then and it really resonated. I told them if I became mayor we would redevelop River Park Apartments. I'm going to buy it, we're going to demolish the buildings and I'm going to put a commercial development there. I had no idea how much that would resonate in our community. It was a problem in our community. It was a problem in Highland, our neighboring community. It was taking a lot of our resources. We had police and fire here constantly. We bought it and, after some lawsuits and $20 million, demolished the buildings. When I come here 18 years later, I come back and know this place is worth three times what it was as River Park Apartments."