Vol. 4, May 2010 - Developing South Bend's Future


Pre-development shapes South Bend's future

No one ever said spurring economic development is easy.  It requires sensitivity to deal with community and neighborhood cohesiveness. Cities need to make tough infrastructure decisions for sewer, water and transportation, and must balance the interests of the public and private sectors.

But South Bend has been making an effort to smooth the way for future economic growth by taking on the forward-looking task of pre-development. South Bend ON sat down with local developers John Phair, president of Holladay Properties Inc.; Chris Davey, president of Grubb & Ellis|Cressy & Everett and City of South Bend economic-development staff to probe the private and public-sector views of pre-development. Read more ...


Pre-development in action

From vacant land that can promise a place to live on the waterfront, to a new vision for a fresh community, to infusing life back into an old shopping district, pre-development is municipal planning for future economic prosperity.

Read more about three successful pre-development projects at various stages in the city of South Bend: East Bank Town Homes, Eddy Street Commons, and the Erskine Hills Shopping District. Read more ...


Greg Downes, chairman/CEO, Gibson Insurance Group

By Phil D’Amico, director of business growth, the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County

Greg Downes is the chairman and CEO of Gibson Insurance Group. Greg has been no stranger to being a leader in the City of South Bend. He is the past Board Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of St. Joseph County, where he still remains an active board member. He is also in his fifth term as a commissioner for the South Bend Redevelopment Commission.  I recently caught up with Greg for a one-on-one conversation to learn more about the Commission and its main goals and objectives. Read more ...      


St. Joe Valley Metronet demystified

How is the St. Joe Valley Metronet giving local businesses a competitive edge in the global marketplace?  Click here to find out.


Green Weekend 2010

Green Weekend 2010, which will take place on Friday, June 11, and on Saturday, June 12, combines the best of WNIT Public Television’s Green Expo and Downtown South Bend Inc.’s EcoFest, transforming the heart of South Bend into a celebration of the environment and sustainable living. The event will include business exhibits and workshops in the Century Center on Friday, June 11, and more family-friendly exhibits and activities on Saturday, June 12, in Howard Park. Other highlights include:   

• Eco-friendly exhibits and vendors
• Live music, food and drink
• Electric car rides
• Computer recyling center
• Professional cycling races

All exhibits and activities are free and open to the public.  More info here ...

Bike the Bend 2010, May 23, 2010

Bike the Bend is a family-friendly bike ride through South Bend and Mishawaka on Sunday, May 23, 2010. 
Cyclists of all ages and abilities are invited to join in experiencing a fun-filled day riding through the streets of South Bend, Mishawaka, and along the scenic banks of the St. Joseph River. More info here ...

May 24-28 is Bike-to-Work Week

With spring in the air, South Bend, Mishawaka and the Bike Michiana Coalition announce 2010 Bike-to-Work Week, May 24-May 28. Highlights include a "Ride In Lunch" event 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Monday, May 24, featuring a ride to the John Hunt Plaza. Live music, food and informational booths are all part of the fun! And from 7-9 a.m., Wednesday, May 26, enjoy the Free Bike Commuters Organic Blueberry Pancake Breakfast outside The Lasalle Grill, 114 W. Colfax. More info here ...

Long-term bike network to pass halfway point in 2010

Mayor Stephen J. Luecke announced 10.6 miles of new bicycle routes planned for completion in 2010, including the first painted bike lanes in the heart of downtown. More info here ...


Innovation Park at Notre Dame welcomes new companies

Two new client companies have moved into Innovation Park at Notre Dame this month. SlipStream LLC and RemSense Inc., have both begun work at the Park to advance the commercial potential of their businesses. More info here ...

Graham Allen Partners chooses Innovation Park

Earlier this year, Graham Allen Partners selected Innovation Park as the environment best serving its business needs and goals. “Locating in Innovation Park allows our company to access the resources and services we need to help advance the businesses we are developing,” says Managing Principal and founder Tracy Graham. Read more ...

Residents express hope about the city's economic future

Nearly 70 percent of 400 South Bend residents polled in a random-sample survey were optimistic about the city's economic future. The survey, conducted by Parker Consulting Group, indicated the majority of South Bend residents are now aware of the city’s efforts to develop Ignition Park in the former Studebaker Corridor – an increase of 16 percent compared to last year. Forty-five percent of residents also said Ignition Park is important or very important to South Bend’s future economic growth. More info here ...       


Purdue offers new engineering tech degree 

Purdue College of Technology, located on the campus of Indiana University in South Bend, will offer a bachelor's degree in engineering technology at the South Bend campus this fall. The curriculum was developed with input from faculty, city and county governments, workforce development officials and the private sector to provide the skills most needed by local businesses and industries. Students can transfer up to 62 hours of approved coursework from Ivy Tech Community College toward the degree. More info here ...

Board approves Ivy Tech nanotech degree program

Ivy Tech Community College’s North Central Region board of trustees recently approved a plan to offer associate's degree programs in nanotechnology at Ivy Tech’s South Bend campus. University of Notre Dame faculty members will serve on the advisory committee for the program. If approved by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, Ivy Tech Community College-South Bend will be the first college in Indiana to offer an associate's degree program in nanotechnology. Classes are expected to start in August 2011.

New college opens in South Bend

National College plans to open a $2.5-million, 36,000-square-foot campus this summer at 1030 E. Jefferson Blvd., close to South Bend’s central business district. Initial coursework will focus on short-term programs in business, computers and healthcare that can be completed in as little as nine months. Associate’s degree programs will be developed at a later time. Enrollment is expected to reach 400 to 500 by 2012.

Salvation Army breaks ground for $30-million Kroc Center

Representatives of The Salvation Army, local officials and community residents broke ground May 13 for the $30-million Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, one of 30 such centers nationwide and the only site in Indiana.

The facility to be constructed at the corner of Western Avenue and Chapin Street will be larger in size than Century Center. It will feature an indoor water park, climbing wall, recording studio and athletics facility along with centers for performing arts, fitness, family care and teens. More info here ...

New energy strategy targets efficiency, conservation

On Earth Day, the City of South Bend unveiled a new strategy, supported by a more than $1 million federal stimulus grant, to target the top three priorities projected to have the most significant impact toward reducing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions. 

  • Conduct energy audits on the 30 municipal buildings with the largest bills for energy usage.
  • Synchronize the timing of traffic signals at the 100 busiest intersection corridors in South Bend.
  • Study the feasibility of generating hydroelectric power through the St. Joseph River at the Century Center dam.

More info here ...

City seeks neighborhood input into Bowman Creek restoration

Could Bowman Creek, one of the most environmentally impaired tributaries in the St. Joseph River watershed, become a beautiful greenway that could help revitalize south-side neighborhoods, support economic prosperity and improve quality of life? 

Residents of the southside neighborhoods through which Bowman Creek passes gathered at Riley High School for two public meetings in April to share ideas for turning a neighborhood liability into an ecological asset. More info here ...