Another Notre Dame Football season!

Another Notre Dame Football season!.

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Another Notre Dame Football season!

Another Notre Dame Football season is set to kick of tomorrow, August 30, 2014, as the Fighting Irish meet Rice on the new field turf. Each season brings a new round of wild optimism, excitement about games and tailgating, and countless articles in The South Bend Tribune which seem to feature every player and staff member on the roster and their “special” story.

For those living in the South Bend area, we are very familiar with what Saturday home games mean to the city. 150,000 people are on campus that morning and day yet somewhere just above 80,000 get into the game.
Thousands of visitors fill hotel rooms for miles and local restaurants make their year during the season. Traffic is congested around the University, parking sprawls around campus, and sales of alcohol and bratwurst spike to obscene numbers. Visit South Bend Mishawaka estimates that each visitor to the area spends on average $178 per trip to the area. The university estimates that nearly 1 million visitors come to the University every year and that the total estimated economic activity, direct and indirect, by each Notre Dame home game is $18,000,000. This is truly a staggering number and reminds us the importance the University plays in our local economy.

Beyond the 7 home games, the economic impact of NDU can be seen around the area. Notre Dame is the second largest employer in the area, second to Beacon Hospital system. It has not only has spent gobs of money on construction projects on campus, but they have invested in the surrounding area including Eddy Street Commons and South Bend’s Northeast neighborhood. The House that Rockne built is about to look very different when the $400 million stadium project adds buildings to the exterior of the stadium.  The University’s investment has spurred private investment all around the area with multi and single family housing, retail stores and hotels. Those visitors that haven’t been to a game in 5 years may have a hard time recognizing the area surrounding the Angela Drive campus entrance.

When you wake up Saturday morning to the sun shining in your bedroom window, rub your eyes and smile knowing that this is the first of a week of Saturday’s where one of the biggest parties in the country are happening in South Bend Indiana.  Grab your favorite Fighting Irish T-shirt and hat, load that cooler on wheels and go out to join 150,000 of your closest friends to rejoice in the commencement of another Irish Football season!

More information on the economic impact of the University of Notre Dame:
http://impact.nd.edu/assets/113131/notre_dame_economic_impact_summary.pdf

 

End of Summer…End of the orange barrel

Back to school season is here and while some of our Michiana schools have already begun classes, most Indiana schools will be back by end of this week.  For the South Bend area, Notre Dame students are returning to their housing and classes begin next week for them and those at Indiana University South Bend.  Coming to an end for students are the days of wondering what to do or simply choosing between reruns of Victorious and iCarly.  In my house, my children are looking forward to what they will wear for the first day of school and seeing what friends they will share classes while I am looking forward to the return of their routine.

The true sadness that the start of school brings is that it marks the end of the summer season.  After the winter of 2013/14, I get an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach just thinking about the looming start of winter snow and darkness.  Rather than think of that, I find some positive things to think about…

Traffic construction will start to wind down for the winter and the orange barrels and cones will start to disappear.  One of the most exciting events is that INDOT will open the stretch of US 31 from South Bend to Plymouth this week.  North/south travelers will rejoice as this stretch of highway will bypass two of the largest slowdowns along that drive, LaPaz and Lakeville.  I am not a daily commuter to Indianapolis, though this fall soccer season expects to have at least 5 trips to Indianapolis so I look forward to easing the drive and decreasing the duration of such trips.  I would like to take this moment to remind all drivers to stay in the right lane during travel except to pass!

The stretch of Fir Rd between SR23 and Cleveland Rd was recently completed, now with 4 lanes and a turn lane and lights at the new intersection of the Fir Rd Capital Connecter.  That connection to Capital Rd is due to be completed this season allowing travelers from the Capital Toll Rd exit to more quickly access the Costco and other stores in the University Park Mall shopping area.  The connecter will also allow for future development along that corridor.

The round-a-bout at Gumwood and Brick Rd is also near completion.  Bricks have been laid in the center of the turn, a layer of asphalt is down, curbs have been installed and soon traffic will be moving nearly nonstop through the intersection.  This intersection represents the last moments of hundreds of drivers’ commute home and will relieve the tension that results from sitting at a 30 plus car line up at a four-way stop watching drivers deliberate with whose turn it is.   The southern portion of Gumwood is still in the beginning stages of its widening project.  The project will relieve congestion at the northern side of the intersection with Cleveland Rd along Heritage Square and Toscana Park.

Jefferson Blvd in the East Bank Village of downtown South Bend is still under construction but will result in a much improved stretch of the road with clear lanes, sidewalks, trees and parking for businesses in the area.  Jefferson Blvd is one of the major commuter arteries into downtown, especially for employees of Crowe Horwath and Press Ganey, two of the larger employers in the city.  Still to come for downtown is the work needed to convert existing one-way traffic to two-way streets, which begins with the conversions of Lafayette and William St.

Of course the one other thing that we can always look forward to when school goes back is the beginning of the college and pro football seasons.  The kick off to the Fighting Irish season is less than 2 weeks away and we are all braced with the anticipation of another season of hopes and tailgates!  Will a new field turf be the stage for Brian Kelly’s team to shine upon? Let’s hope.

Elkhart Shoppes on Six

 

Today I attended the official ground breaking for the Shoppes on Six retail development, located at the corner of County Rd 6 and State Rd 19 in Elkhart Indiana.  The ground breaking was for Phase 2 of the retail center by developer Thompson Thrift.  Phase 1 of the project includes the 3000sf Verizon Wireless store and the small shop building which currently has Dunkin Donuts, Great Clips and Penn Station as tenants.  Soon to come just west of the Verizon store will be an Old National Bank branch.

Phase 2 of the development will begin with a 70,000sf multitenant retail building on the south end of the lot anchored by Ross Dress for Less.  There are also plans for a Petsmart and Shoe Carnival in the building and there are currently discussions with other potential tenants.  The developer is hoping to anchor the corner of the development with a full service restaurant.

This development has been in the works for several years.  The site was identified by the City as a blighted property, as it sat with old vacant buildings for several years.  This corner will connect the retail development along County Rd 6 from the Walmart to the west and SR 19 to the east.  The entire project was made possible with assistance from the City of Elkhart including Economic Development Director Barkley Garrett, public works, the county commissions and the Mayor’s office.  Mayor Dick Moore praised the development for turning blight into positive development, adding jobs and retail options for the area without using any money from the City’s general fund.

When completed, the project will certainly make the connection to SR 19 and give the retail area some added and much needed density.  Elkhart has long had a mix of retail and industrial overlapping use with old and new buildings side by side.  This completes a larger plan of new centralized retail use.

For the local residents, what restaurant would you like to see at the corner?  How about a Buffalo Wild Wings?

Shoppes on 6 Site Plan

2nd Quarter 2014 Commercial Market Trends-Michiana

Download Commercial Real Estate market reports for 2nd Qtr 2014.

Newmark Grubb Cressy & Everett recently released their 2nd Quarter 2014 Commercial Real Estate Market Trends report for the Michiana Region.  Links to each are attached to this post but can also be found at http://www.cressyandeverett.com/

What does the trending show?  Generally good absorption of industrial vacancy in both St Joseph County and Elkhart County with Elkhart showing a need for good quality industrial buildings.  Several large deals occurred in the last quarter which should provide some momentum going forward in the next couple of years.

The South Bend Mishawaka office market also showed some overall positive absorption, though trends for lease rates and vacancy remains fairly constant over a few years.  If we are able to see continued growth in aerospace, engineering and distribution locally, we should see employment numbers improve and office absorption increase.

South Bend/Mishawaka Industrial

South Bend/Mishawaka Office

Elkhart Industrial

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2nd Quarter 2014 Commercial Market Trends-Michiana

Newmark Grubb Cressy & Everett recently released their 2nd Quarter 2014 Commercial Real Estate Market Trends report for the Michiana Region.  Links to each are attached to this post but can also be found at http://www.cressyandeverett.com/

What does the trending show?  Generally good absorption of industrial vacancy in both St Joseph County and Elkhart County with Elkhart showing a need for good quality industrial buildings.  Several large deals occurred in the last quarter which should provide some momentum going forward in the next couple of years.

The South Bend Mishawaka office market also showed some overall positive absorption, though trends for lease rates and vacancy remains fairly constant over a few years.  If we are able to see continued growth in aerospace, engineering and distribution locally, we should see employment numbers improve and office absorption increase.

South Bend/Mishawaka Industrial

South Bend/Mishawaka Office

Elkhart Industrial