The Sullivan family, from top left, Beth, Lou, 3, Dan, Frank, 2, and Eleanor, 5, moved to Granger to save money over living near Dan's job in Chicago. Staff photo by Michael Caterina
The Sullivan family, from top left, Beth, Lou, 3, Dan, Frank, 2, and Eleanor, 5, moved to Granger to save money over living near Dan's job in Chicago. Staff photo by Michael Caterina
Dan and Beth Sullivan enjoy watching their kids at play in the backyard, going on family walks and bike rides and being able to explore the area’s parks and amenities.

It might not sound like much to those who live here, but to the Sullivans it’s a lifestyle that seemed increasingly elusive while living in Chicagoland for nearly nine years after meeting at and graduating from Indiana University Bloomington.

Like many millennials, the couple craved the arts, restaurants and activities of the big city. “I love Chicago and New York,” said Sullivan, who graduated from St. Joseph High School in 2004. “They’re beautiful cities and there’s so much to do.”

With a similar attitude shared by so many young people, there were dire predictions that smaller towns could eventually wither away as more young people chose the action of an urban lifestyle and that tech companies would be reluctant to consider places like South Bend and Mishawaka out of fear they couldn’t find the talent they needed.

But then COVID-19 was unleashed in the United States, forcing lockdowns and other restrictions that have lasted for months. People learned to work from home and some have had the time to reconsider life in the largest metropolitan areas.
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