Starbucks Heritage Square

Improvements for a new Starbucks have started within the west endcap suite of the former Doctor’s Express Suite at Heritage Square.  The expectation is for the cafe to open within the next 90 days.  The building faces the highly trafficked Cleveland Rd and the Starbucks suite will feature a drive-thru window.  There is already a Starbucks within the Martin’s Side Door Deli at Heritage Square, and that will remain in place.


One Michiana Square

The One Michiana Square building, located at 100 E Wayne St in downtown South Bend, came under new ownership in 2016.  The building was built in 1985 and had historic vacancy rates of 20-30%.  Now with ownership partners from Newmark Grubb Cressy & Everett and new tenant partners including Ladue Curran and Kuehn, the building is now 95% occupied and a true class A office building.  Renovations to the common areas and tenant spaces have given the interior a much needed updated modern feel.  The finished lobby is gorgeous and the office space within LCK’s space features collaborative working space, glass office walls and an open break area.  If you are in the area, step into the lobby and check out the work that has been done by Newmark Grubb Cressy & Everett.

LaSalle Hotel nearing completion

The LaSalle Hotel renovation project is noticeably nearing its completion.  The exterior ground and 2nd floor window trim is being scraped and painted, facade is being restored and on the inside, the apartments on the upper floors are now weeks away from completion.  In just over two weeks, the building owners will be accepting a historical preservation award for the building and the project at an exclusive event at the building.

There is definite excitement for the project as inquiries and leasing activity on the apartments has been steady all year.  The retail space on the ground floor still has opportunities for restaurant and bar.  Contact me for details.

South Bend’s Historic LaSalle Hotel

Check out some of the interior photos of South Bend’s Historic LaSalle Hotel main floor.

Floors 2-9 will feature first-class apartments with all the amenities.  Main floor space is available for lease to a restaurant, cafe, bar or retail space.  What a great building and opportunity!


1st floor plan v3

Lobby Atrium

Lobby Atrium

Original LaSalle Hotel Bar

Original LaSalle Hotel Bar

Original hotel mail slots

Original hotel mail slots

Hotel Kitchen

Hotel Kitchen

Hotel kitchen

Hotel kitchen

Lobby View from atrium

Lobby View from atrium

Mishawaka Condos

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.


Emporium Bldg-Niles Ave South Bend

Pictured here is a portion of the newly restored brick exterior of the Emporium Building in South Bend.  Local developer Dave Matthews purchased the building back in 2013 and recently began removing the paint from the exterior.  Matthews will continue to remove the paint from the Niles Avenue side of the building improving the look and further enhancing the feel of the local neighborhood.  The brick on the river side of the building is too soft to withstand the paint removal process, says Matthews, so that side will remain as is.

The East Bank Village continues to see improvements and developments.  Jefferson Blvd improvements were recently completed which includes sidewalks, bike lanes and curbside landscaping.  New residential units are breaking ground and others planned near the river at the former Transpo site.  I would expect that we will continue to see new developments announced for the area in the near future.


Emergency Alert System Sound!!

What is with that annoying sound that resembles an old dial up modem connection that occurs at the beginning and end of the emergency alert system?  This is a topic that has nothing to do with commercial real estate or new business developments, but I just heard that attention getting sound as it interrupted the radio program and I couldn’t help but wonder why this particular sound is still used?  Isn’t there a modern way to get listeners attention?

Well interestingly, the sound and tones used are called a SAME header, Specific Area Message Encoding.  That specific digital sound contains information and automatically triggers EAS equipment located in each radio station.  Stations do not need to be manned at the time of the alert and the system automatically interrupts whatever is being broadcast at the time. There is data within the tones including who send the message, the type of emergency and what areas are affected.  There is also a different set of tones that occur at the end of the EAS message that signals the end and turns off the equipment.

Interesting bit of info that one rarely thinks about.

Rib Shack in Granger

The Rib Shack is now gone.  The site on which this locally famous restaurant formerly resided shall become additional parking for the adjacent medical practice.

It has been a while since we have seen new developments in the Granger area.  Within a small area, this ‘downtown’ portion of Granger has many businesses serving the local population and those traveling along SR 23.  Banks, a pharmacy, a grocery store, restaurants, a handful of bars, an auto dealer, medical practices and more.  There is even a farmers market.  There is an obvious demand for certain businesses, but what do the residents of east Granger want next and what will they support?

There are a couple properties with homes for sale nearby that require demolition to convert to commercial use.  There is only one small vacant parcel next to the former Rib Shack that is for sale and we look for what the demand is in the area for new construction.  Is there a local bank we need that isn’t here?  I would like your ideas!