Chamber of Commerce, developers react to Mishawaka mayor re-election announcement

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- The announcement from Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood to begin his campaign for re-election has the business community answering questions on what they’d like to see in a future mayor.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Wood touted infrastructure, public safety, and economic development accomplishments during his tenure. South Bend Chamber of Commerce CEO Jeff Rea said the chamber would like to see the success continue.

“Whether it’s him or somebody else, Mishawaka has a nice track record of success,” Rea said.

He said banking, healthcare and retail are performing strong in Mishawaka. In the downtown area, more than two hundred apartment units were built in 2018.

In 2019, 80 more apartment units are being developed.

“Mishawaka has been a leader over the last couple of years,” Rea said. “You’ve seen quite a bit of construction as a part of that.”

The construction value in St. Joseph County has increased by more than 150 million dollars from 2017 to 2018. Brian McMorrow, a senior developer with The Abonmarche Group, said his team would like to see more of the same when it comes to leadership in Mishawaka.

“On our boards right now, we probably have a half a dozen different projects in Mishawaka,” said McMorrow.

The Abonmarche Group is behind housing revival projects such as the Grandview Flats and Townhomes, a mixed-use (residential and commercial) complex on Main Street near Heritage Square. McMorrow said the demographics of Mishawaka, which includes leadership, are appealing to his team.

“Having stable and strong leadership in Mishawaka makes some projects that are maybe not a little out of the ordinary easier in Mishawaka then maybe somewhere else,” McMorrow said.

However, Rea said voters should keep in mind the 2020 circuit breaker is coming soon, which will put caps on property taxes and in Mishawaka, will cost the city more than $9 million in revenue.

“I suppose we don’t know yet that it’s going to be difficult,” said Rea. “But I think history could tell us there could be some bumps in the road in the next couple of years and we’re going to need a leader to help navigate that.”


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