Thursday, September 28, 2017

Mill at Ironworks Plaza a Key Step Downtown Mishawaka

Posted by: Jeff Rea
President and CEO
South Bend Regional Chamber on Thursday, September 28, 2017 at 12:00:00 am
 Comments (0)

I had the chance last week to attend the groundbreaking at Mill at Ironworks Plaza in downtown Mishawaka. The project is located just south of Beutter Park. Flaherty & Collins, an Indianapolis firm, is developing a 400,000-square-foot mixed-use building that will have commercial space on the first floor, 232 apartments and a parking garage.

Construction will commence in October and should be complete in two years. It is expected to employ about 400 people during construction.

The project will span two vacant city blocks that once housed the former Ball Band/Uniroyal factory. That 2 million-square-foot industrial complex that had employed close to 10,000 people was cleared in the late 1990s to make way for redevelopment opportunities on the site.

The groundbreaking on the Mill at Ironworks Plaza represents the largest development project in downtown Mishawaka since Liberty Mutual relocated a call center there in the early 1980s. This project represents a $45 million investment in downtown.

Mishawaka began planning for the redevelopment of the area shortly after Uniroyal filed bankruptcy in 1991. At the time, an urban, mixed-use, pedestrian friendly and architecturally significant redevelopment project was envisioned. In late 1997, the site was acquired and for the past 20 years the city has been working on executing on that plan.

After the demolition, the city moved forward with the development of Beutter and Kamm Island parks, as well as enhancements to Battell Park, Central Park and Lincoln Park, which are near the site.

In conjunction with those improvements, the Mishawaka Riverwalk was developed to connect each of those amenities. In recent years that 3-mile pedestrian loop has attracted thousands of visitors seeking a great place to run, walk, bike or just gather. Public art and other amenities have been added to enhance the experience along the riverfront.

Other development projects have taken shape on the fringes of the site. Mishawaka renovated the former Main Jr. High into apartments. The former Carnegie Library is currently being renovated for a restaurant use. The Townes at Kamm Island were developed and are currently being expanded. The River Rock Apartments opened earlier this year adjacent to the Riverwalk Condos that were developed in recent years.

Hospice built a new facility in the neighborhood. The former bank building at Main and Mishawaka Avenue was redeveloped into a co-working space called 101Co3. The former Tivoli block was redeveloped. The Mishawaka Food Pantry has done major renovations on the former Studebaker building on Lincoln Way, and several new users have located in the revitalized 100 Center. Many other projects are also being considered in or near downtown.

“Quality of place” are the buzzwords many communities are talking about these days as they recognize the need to build great spaces to help attract people. The Mishawaka project is a great case study for other communities to follow.

Projects like this take a lot of time, planning, patience and resources. The mayor and many city departments, the Redevelopment Commission, the City Council, the Park Board, the Mishawaka Business Association, the neighbors and countless others have all played critical roles.

From the acquisition, demolition, environmental cleanup through the development of the public spaces and the attraction of a developer, Mishawaka has executed on a long, well thought out, comprehensive plan for the redevelopment of a site. That plan has included some significant public investment that in the end has attracted some significant private investment. Watch for the biggest of those private investments to commence shortly.

Also published in the South Bend Tribune.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hidden Gem: La Rosita

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

After a delicious meal, there is nothing better than ice cream with friends and family for dessert. Just beyond downtown South Bend sits a family-owned ice cream parlor on Western Avenue that will have your taste buds doing backflips. In 2002, Paleteria y Neveria La Rosita opened its doors and people have fallen in love with their delicious, homemade ice cream and other unique dessert items that you must try when you stop in.

La Rosita serves up 32 flavors of ice cream and 22 flavors of paletas, or Mexican ice pops. Some of the top-selling ice cream flavors include Mexican chocolate, coupling the spice of cinnamon with the sweetness of chocolate, and Gansito which tastes like strawberry shortcake melted with chocolate chip ice cream. Surprisingly, La Rosita’s most popular item on the menu is not ice cream at all. It is corn, topped with mayo, cheese, butter and chili powder, and served in a cup or on a stick. According to owner Juan Cervera, one in every two customers who walks through the door will order this Mexican snack. The mayo, cheese and butter compliment the corn’s sweetness while the chili powder adds just enough spiciness to give your taste buds a whirl.

From ice cream and paletas to fruit drinks and corn in a cup, La Rosita provides a menu that will cater to everyone. This ice cream parlor is always full of hungry guests, but don’t worry — there are plenty of sweet treats for everyone.

Let us know what you think! Tag @YPNSouthBend or use #YPNtalk and share your thoughts on La Rosita!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Hidden Gem: Bowl of Pho

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (2)

Tired of the same ol’ same ol’? Can’t stomach the thought of another burger and fries for dinner? If you’re feeling adventurous – or just looking for something a little different than Italian, Mexican or American cuisine – why not try Vietnamese! Bowl of Pho (pronounced “Fuh”) is located right off Grape Road in Mishawaka near Fresh Thyme, Home Goods and DSW.

They offer a wide range of Vietnamese fare, though they’re known for their various Pho dishes which is a form of noodle soup with various vegetables and protein. A perfect dish to enjoy when you’re in need of a quick warm up or relief from a cold – Bowl of Pho offers large portions at great prices and is great for a quick lunch away from the office or dinner with the family. For more on Bowl of Pho check out their menu.

Let us know what you think! Tag @YPNSouthBend or use #YPNtalk and share your thoughts on Bowl of Pho!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Game Plan of the Office

Posted by: YPN South Bend on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

The old saying goes, “Age ain’t nothing but a number,” but in the professional world, your age can define how people perceive you as an employee. Your work ethic, behaviors in the workplace, and overall perception as an employee can be dictated by just finding out when you were born. Since it’s football season, though, let’s take a different look at how the different generations interact with each other in an office setting.

Within the office Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1976) and Millennials (1977-1995) have been working together for years now. But right when everyone seems to be settling into their roles in the office the first members of Generation Z (1996-present) are getting ready to join the fun as interns and as full-time employees when the Class of 2018 graduates in May.

No need to worry, the office isn’t going to implode, but to make this office setting of four different generations work it must play to their strengths similar to how a football team must play to the strengths of each one of its players in order to win a game.

The Baby Boomers have experienced so much.

For years, this generation has been extremely hardworking and motivated by perks and their positions. They are career-focused and goal-oriented. They have so much knowledge to teach the younger generations. On the football field, the baby boomers would be the head coach. As talented as the players are, if it weren’t for a head coach’s scheme and play calls, the team would be lost. Employees should look up to the Baby Boomers to give them motivation, leadership and positive feedback on projects and tasks. They’ve seen a lot and have a lot of great experience.

Generation X-ers are like the quarterback on the field.

Those who are part of Generation X are said to be the most effective managers compared to any other generation. Gen X-ers can adapt to any situation, excel when it comes to problem solving and can collaborate with the best of them. None of these things would be possible without knowing how each member of their team works and utilizing that knowledge to effectively manage, just like a quarterback does with his offence. Without the quarterback you can’t run an offense effectively and he or she must make split-second decisions that can ultimately win or lose the game for the team.

If Gen X is the quarterback, who are the Millennials?

The Millennials are like the first-round draft pick running back.They’re talented, quick and can be a literal “game-changer,” but there is a tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform at a high-level and live up to (or break away from) the hype. Millennials are some of the most tech-savvy employees in the office. Their ability to use social media to market an organization is unparalleled and they want their work to have a purpose just like a rookie running back wants to contribute to a team instead of just warming the bench all season. They want to show their talents and when they aren’t given the opportunity to do so may not practice as hard as they possibly can. IF this happens in the workforce, those smartphones might get turned on and take precedence over doing actual work. If Millennials feel their work matters, though, and they are set upon the right path by coaches and QBs that want to help them learn (mentors) their talent will show and they do indeed live up to the hype.

So, the hungry, talented running back called Millennials are juking out defenders, running upfield and scoring touchdowns. Meanwhile, the head coach Boomers are calling plays and the Gen X quarterback is reading the defense and making the right passes at the right time. That sounds like an effective team already, but there are some promising new players – 2.52 billion of them, actually – who are nearing the end of their college years and ready to go pro.

We have been scouting Generation Z for a while to see what kind of teammate they will be. Looking at that scouting report, you’ll notice they have a digital preoccupation that outstrips Millennials. They’ve grown up with a smartphone in one hand and a Fidget Spinner in the other. Despite this preoccupation, they are a generation that cares about face-to-face interaction and creating communities. They’re like a rookie linebacker – very talented, but rough around the edges. The need constructive feedback on their work, room to develop their skills and support, not derision (which the first-round draft pick Millennials have seen a lot of). If they receive that Generation Z can be that final piece to the puzzle that makes up a championship caliber team.

On a football team, no position is more important than another. Everyone has to do their job effectively for the common good of the team. The same is true in an office – no generation is more important than another and when they work together it helps businesses succeed. Each generation has strengths but each has its fair share of weaknesses, but through effective communication you can see how everyone’s skills complement each other just like a winning football team.