The typical asking rate per listing is in the $10's per square foot per year. The Merrillville region is going through a a rise in rates. In the last 3 months, the median rate went up $1 per sqft per year. That's a 7% increase in rent.
Compared to the rest of the Chicagoland market, the Merrillville submarket has lower rates, so you should have no trouble finding a great deal in this undervalued submarket.
In the last 90 days, 34 listings have come on the market, which means spaces are probably leasing quickly. You'll want to be prepared to make an offer immediately. There aren't many listings below 2,000 square feet posted, so finding a space for a small business might be tough.
The standard measurement for office space in this area is around 1,440 sqft. Most properties in this market are close to 1 stories. Most buildings in this region were built in 1983 and are Class B.