The City of Mishawaka recently approved the Barak’s Group plan to develop a 30 unit residential condominium project on the vacant land along the St Joseph River near Beutter Park. Barak intends to begin construction in 2016 and sell the condos at prices $300,000 and up.
Renderings for the project look great and appear shows residents enjoying the benefits of riverfront living. The first question that arises, is there a market for condo’s in the downtown Mishawaka area? Urban style condos are a fairly new concept to the area as downtown services and entertainment is limited and competitive homes in the suburbs with yards and privacy are readily available at prices below $300k. As the millennials grow into the residential market, their choices of areas to live are much different than those of generation X. Millennials look for more urban homes, closer to work and with nearby amenities that they can walk or bike to. The issue that remains is that most millennials are still not making the income of the older generation and thus do not yet have the economic power to spur high-end developments that cater to this group.
Other Mishawaka condos on the river have struggled in recent years, but the economy is in a much better place than 7 years ago and we have seen other similar projects in South Bend be successful. A new 70+ unit apartment complex, the Barak River Rock, is currently under construction on the north side of the river and is already receiving residential and retail interest. High density homes along the river is a great use of riverfront property and something this community does need. If we currently do not have the population to fully support, perhaps we will attract those that will. The services, amenities and the jobs needed will follow and a quick look at how the area looks now compared to 10 years ago will show anyone that things are greatly improving.