A good mix
Brinson highlighted other initiatives in the River Race area. A South Bend company is looking to produce hydroelectricity on the powerhouse property at the millrace’s north end. Nearby, a brew pub is planned in the former NIPSCO building.
Brinson feels that in total, the River Race projects blend well.
“That’s what the attraction is of downtowns, and that’s why people gravitate toward urban areas,” he continued. “It’s because they’re not homogeneous. There’s a variety, there’s interest — every block is a little bit different and you can find new things and different activities.”
Hershberger indicated that much work needs to be done infrastructure-wise for the Hawks and the other housing projects.
“For this area, we need to extend all the water and sewer from Third Street over to the development area,” she said.
Also, the north-south alley to the west of Third Street will be made into a two-way road extending from Douglas Street to Jefferson Street. It will be named River Race Drive.
Hershberger termed the inner-city River Race redevelopment “traditional in-fill.” Brinson calls it “back to the future.”
“It is traditional urban development,” he said. “Traditional in terms of what we saw in urban cores 100 years ago. We’re not really doing anything new. We’re just kind of reviving the type of urban development that communities used to see. We’re creating that opportunity for developers to come in and (build) this housing.”
Brinson said there’s not a huge market for urban-style living, but it’s growing. He also said the millennial generation is very in tune with the urban lifestyle.
“And what we’re seeing in Goshen too, surprisingly, is a number of retired and empty-nester residents who want to downsize,” Brinson said. “They want to move out of the big house and get away from mowing the yard and shoveling driveways. But they don’t want to necessarily live in a retirement community or a suburban condominium development. They like the energy of the downtown and want to be a part of that scene.”
Hershberger said she thinks Goshen is unique in that it has such a large portion of land available for in-fill.
“To have 22 acres in the heart of downtown, next to the millrace,” she said. “...It was good planning that started long ago, and it’s finally coming to fruition.”