The South Bend–Elkhart Region is undergoing tremendous transformation as various projects push beyond the planning stages and come to fruition. South Bend is gaining more and more recognition for its “up and coming city” status, and both local and distant investors are targeting the area to contribute to, and benefit from, this movement. Elkhart’s recent RV boom has been catalytic for the city and surrounding area’s economic condition, with momentum expected to continue for the foreseeable future. The region’s spike in development and redevelopment projects should greatly benefit the local economy in years to come and is deserving of a closer look. The following will highlight some of the biggest projects in the South Bend-Elkhart region.
1.) Smart Streets Initiative
The Smart Streets initiative is a catalyst for over $200 million worth of investments in downtown South Bend. The project is aimed at enhancing the quality of life in the downtown area by fostering a more vibrant atmosphere and attracting economic development. Conversions of one-way to two-way streets throughout downtown, combined with multiple streetscape improvements have contributed to the vision of a vibrant downtown.
Main Street Row
- Undergoing a $400,000 facade renovation
- Sits along a portion of Main St. that greatly benefits from Smart Streets work, including new curbs, sidewalks, parking lanes and bike lanes.
Chase Building / Aloft Hotel
- $40 million redevelopment expected to open in late 2017
- 183-room hotel, 83 apartment units, and ground-floor retail space
- First Aloft Hotel in the state of Indiana
JMS Building / Studebaker Lofts
- $7.6 million redevelopment
- Converted the six upper floors into 46 apartment units
- The first floor will be available for retail space
- $12 million redevelopment
- 67 upscale apartments and 8,400 square feet of ground floor retail space
- Originally constructed in 1921 as a luxury hotel, the LaSalle building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
2.) Renaissance District/Studebaker Campus
At the heart of the Renaissance District, the former Studebaker plant is being redeveloped into the Midwest’s largest mixed-use technology campus, converting 1.3 million square feet of industrial space into office, co-working, residential, retail, conference and entertainment space. “While the interior renovation will drive economic impact, transforming the facade of this massive, historic building will play a significant role in changing the hearts and minds of our city,” said Jacob Titus, local entrepreneur and founder of West.SB
3.) Elkhart River District
The new River District near downtown Elkhart includes a $60 million aquatics and fitness center, $29 million luxury apartment complex, streetscape improvements and other mixed-use developments. The plan is focused around a 155-acre piece of land that is encompassed by the St. Joseph River to the North and the Elkhart River to the South and West. Access to rivers, walkability, greenspace and diversity of users are a few of the key components of this plan that aims to transform the East Jackson Boulevard corridor. “This is an unprecedented amount of development,” said Mayor Tim Neese in an Indiana Economic Digest article.
4.) New Carlisle Industrial Park/St. Joseph Energy Center
The $4.35 million infrastructure project to create a new industrial park in rural New Carlisle is projected to be completed by the end of May 2017. Once completed, the project will open over 1,000 acres for development. Already underway in the park is the first phase of the St. Joseph Energy Center, Toyota Group’s and Ares Private Equity Group’s $500 million project, which is expected to be completed by March of 2018. The output from Phase I of the St. Joseph Energy Center will serve approximately 450,000 households, and is expected to generate approximately 500 jobs during the construction phase and 25 permanent jobs when it comes online in the first half of 2018.
5.) GrandView Flats and Townhomes - Granger
GrandView Flats and Townhomes establish a new standard of residential life, bringing together urban sophistication and suburban luxury all while sitting at a prime Granger location. This $100 million mixed-use development features two and three-story residential and commercial buildings. Sixty residential units became available last spring, however there will be over 200 total units upon completion of the project by 2020.