Developer to hold community meeting on recent changes to development plan in Mishawaka

NOW: Developer to hold community meeting on recent changes to development plan in Mishawaka


MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- Neighbors worried about recent changes to a development plan in Mishawaka can voice their concerns and ask questions at a meeting with the developer Monday. 

The Mishawaka Common Council requested the meeting after nearby residents cited traffic and safety issues and said the developer blindsided them with the updated proposal. 

In June, the Mishawaka Planning Commission approved a number of changes to the city’s already approved development plan for 33-acre site near S.R. 23 and Gumwood Rd. 

Under the new plan, Menards would replace its store on University Dr. and build a new, two-story store at the Gumwood Rd location. 

“We were just very concerned about the traffic that it’s going to create on that corner,” said Debbie Pieri. 

Pieri lives nearby. She believes the new location would increase traffic and lead to more accidents. 

“There’s a lot of families that use Gumwood,” said Pieri. “It just seems like it’s going to be unsafe. We don’t want all that traffic and it’s just going to affect the character of the neighborhood up there, but mostly the safety of the community, anybody who is going to use that corner.” 

Claudia Mager lives close by. She plans to attend Monday’s meeting. 

Mager worries about the number of cars and trucks this move would bring and wants to know how it will be addressed. She adds when the city and site developer laid out the plans for that area, they said small shops and housing would be built there, not a big-box store. 

“We were sold a pretty picture, we were sold apartment buildings, small retail, restaurants, and maybe there would be some bigger retail, but it would be in keeping with what is aesthically pleasing,” said Mager. “Those Grandview Apartments are beautiful. I just can’t imagine living there and looking out to the lumberyard with bright lights and a giant fence.” 

The site developer, Abonmarche, declined to comment ahead of Monday’s meeting. 

“We have one chance, probably, to meet with the developer and the retailer and the city planner in this environment,” said Mager. “Will they hear us? I don’t know, but the number of people that are in the room will speak volumes and that’s what they need to see” 

Monday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. It’s being held at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Toscana Park. 

The Mishawaka Common Council is expected to vote on the proposal at its meeting on August 5.

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