- Talent & Workforce
- News &
- Doing Business Here
- Resources & Data
- About the Area
Last week, I took a look back at some of the great successes in 2016 related to residential, hospitality and retail development. Today, I’ll take a closer look the office, industrial, utility and health care industries as well as some of the key infrastructure projects that helped drive development in the past year.
The office market saw some nice activity in 2016. Advance Centers for Cancer Care will soon call One Michiana Square home after a major renovation. Main Street Row in South Bend is undergoing a face lift. Catalyst One and Two have opened in Ignition Park with the University of Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory as a primary tenant among several others. Construction has also begun in the Renaissance District on the former Studebaker buildings.
On the industrial front, General Stamping and Sheet Metal neared completion on its new Blackthorn location. Pepsi, Chase Plastics and Fed-Ex moved into new space at Ameriplex 80/90. AM General announced plans to occupy a new 200,000-square-foot building at Ameriplex. Patrick Industries announced it would occupy the former Affinia Building on 12th Street in Mishawaka. Total Quality Logistics expanded in Blackthorn, and 3B Tech said it would occupy the former Invacare Warehouse at Blackthorn.
Three major health care projects progressed. The Department of Veterans Affairs began construction on its new $38 million clinic, and Beacon Health began construction on the $50 million Memorial Children’s Hospital. Beacon also completed construction and opened the new Beacon Health and Fitness Facility on Beacon Parkway.
A number of major infrastructure projects aimed at supporting development also advanced in 2016. Those included a $200 million investment aimed at improving the Indiana Toll Road, major improvements to Indiana 23, the implementation of Smart Streets in South Bend, and the elimination of one more stoplight on U.S. 31. Also, the South Bend International Airport advanced plans for its international services and a new fixed-based operator opened at the airport.
In addition, a number of key utility projects were advanced or completed in 2016. AEP constructed solar facilities in Mishawaka and New Carlisle. St. Joseph Energy began construction on a $500 million natural gas generating power plant in New Carlisle. The University of Notre Dame moved forward on a major geothermal project on campus and announced plans for a hydroelectric facility in Seitz Park in downtown South Bend. Mishawaka made plans for future water needs with the acquisition of property that will be the home a new well field on the north side of the city.
Innovation Park at Notre Dame announced plans for a $13 million project to add a second building. The St. Joseph County Public Library announced plans for $5.5 million expansion in downtown South Bend. Indiana University South Bend completed renovations of Northside Hall and the Administration Building, and Notre Dame completed construction of a new boathouse near the Farmers Market.
Beyond all of those projects, Notre Dame is perhaps in the busiest construction period in its history with more than $712 million in planned improvements. Work is underway on the Campus Crossroads project, Jenkins Hall and Nanovic Hall, the Hesburgh Library, two undergraduate residence halls, and an interdisciplinary research facility.
The projects I mentioned today as well as those mentioned last week are important and contribute to a growing economy. But we’ve got a lot of work ahead to keep pace with our competition across the country and around the world. Another year like this past one and it will be hard for the outside world not to take notice.
The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative was designed to help communities across Indiana come together to transform their regions into nationally recognized destinations to live, work and play. Our region was one of three regions selected, and 2016 will be remembered as an important turning point in growing that national brand.
Our end-of-the-year report card reveals high employment, low unemployment, rising wages, growing population and some $300 million in new private investment on key projects around the area. Local, regional and national investors have taken note and are buying in and investing in the bright future that lies ahead in our region.
Residential construction will dominate most year-end reviews for the area. More than 2,400 new residential units, most in the urban core of South Bend or Mishawaka were announced, were under construction or were completed in 2016. In Mishawaka, the River Rock project was completed in the downtown, adding 70 units to the marketplace.
Elsewhere, construction should begin early in 2017 on several other downtown Mishawaka housing projects, including the River Walk Apartments, River Front Forge Condominiums (33 units), and the Mill at Ironworks Plaza (230 units). Add to those, construction at GrandView (200 units), Fir Road North (400 units) and Fir Road South (516 units).
But that tells only a part of the story, South Bend has a housing boom of its own underway. Recently, the former Hoffman Hotel (48 units) and the Colfax & Hill Development (17 units) have opened. In the midst of construction is the renovation of The LaSalle (67 units), the JMS Building (52 units) and the former Chase Tower (83 units). On the drawing board are the East Bank Flats (12 units), the Wharf site Project (24 units), River Race Flats (32 units), the Commerce Center (250 units), the former Madison Center (55 units), Berlin Flats (120 units), and the Hibberd Building (12-16 units). Another 90 residential units are planned on the former Transpo site, just east of downtown. Also, the 202 units at The Pointe in South Bend experienced a major renovation in 2016.
Two new hotels opened in 2016, the Holiday Inn and Conference Center on Douglas Road in Mishawaka and the Motel 6 in Roseland. Construction is now underway at the Aloft Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott Downtown South Bend and the Holiday Inn at Toscana Park, the Home 2 Suites on Edison and the Candlewood Suites on Douglas, all in Mishawaka. Another hotel is planned for construction at Blackthorn and the Inn at Saint Mary's experienced a major renovation in 2016.
On the retail side, Wilshire Plaza in Mishawaka experienced the biggest transformation as it added Sky Zone, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, Christopher & Banks, Carter's Osh Kosh, and DSW over the past year.
Our stock is on the rise. We are anticipating a strong 2017 when you add the announced projects above to those nearing completion. Today, people all around Indiana are taking note and in the future people around the country will also realize all our region has to offer.
But we've touched on just a part of the story. Next week I'll take a closer look at the office, industrial, utility and health care sectors as well as some of the key infrastructure projects driving development in our area.
Also published in the December 21, 2016 South Bend Tribune