In a previous column, I took a look back at some of the great successes in 2016 related to residential, hospitality and retail development. I’d like to take a closer look now the office, industrial, utility and healthcare industries as well as some of the key infrastructure projects that moved forward in 2016 that are helping to drive development.
The office market saw some nice activity in 2016. Advance Centers for Cancer Care will soon call One Michiana Square home after a major renovation. Main Street Row in South Bend is undergoing a facelift, Catalyst One and Two have opened in Ignition Park with the University of Notre Dame Turbomachinery Laboratory as a primary tenant amongst several others. Construction has also begun in the Renaissance district on the former Studebaker buildings.
On the industrial front, General Stamping and Sheet Metal neared completion on its new Blackthorn location, Pepsi, Chase Plastics and Fed-Ex moved into new space at Ameriplex 80/90, AM General announced plans to occupy a new 200,000 foot building at Ameriplex, Patrick Industries announced plans to occupy the former Affinia Building on 12th in Mishawaka, Total Quality Logistics expanded in Blackthorn and 3B Tech announced plans to occupy the former Invacare Warehouse at Blackthorn.
Three major healthcare projects progressed. The VA began construction on its new $38 million clinic and Beacon Health began construction on the $50 million Memorial Children’s Hospital. Health: Beacon also completed construction and opened the new Beacon Health and Fitness Facility on Beacon Parkway.
A number of major infrastructure projects aimed at supporting development advanced in 2016. Those included a $200 million investment in improving the Indiana 80/90, major improvements to SR 23, the implementation of Smart Streets in South Bend and the elimination of one more stop light on US 31. Also, the South Bend International Airport advanced plans for its international services and a new fixed based operator opened at the Airport.
A number of key Utility projects were announced, advanced or were completed in 2016. AEP constructed solar facilities in Mishawaka an New Carlisle. St. Joe Energy began construction on a $500 million natural gas generating power plant in New Carlisle. The University of Notre Dame moved forward on a major Geo Thermal project on Campus and announced plans for a hydroelectric facility in Seitz Park downtown South Bend. Mishawaka made plans for future water needs with the acquisition of the Juday Creek Golf Course, future home of a new north well field.
Innovation Park at Notre Dame announced plans for a 2nd building a new $13 million project. The St. Joseph County Public Library announced plans for $5.5 million expansion downtown. IU South Bend completed renovations of Northside Hall and the Administration building. Notre Dame completed construction of its new boathouse near the farmers market.
All of this without mention of perhaps the busiest construction period in the University of Notre Dame’s history, with over $712 million of improvements planned. Construction is underway on the Campus Crossroads project, Jenkins and Nanovic Hall, renovations at the Hesburgh Library, two undergraduate residence halls, and an interdisciplinary research facility.
The projects I mentioned today as well as those mentioned in Part 2 are important and contribute to a growing economy. But we’ve got a lot of work ahead to keep pace with our competition across the country and around the world. Another year like this past one and it will be hard for the outside world not to take note.
For more information about projects happening in the region, please visit www.southbendregion.com.