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Downtown Mishawaka in need of grocery stores

Mishawaka, Ind.—

Is Mishawaka becoming a more walkable city?

Growing investment in new developments has the downtown area bustling.

But, limited access to fresh food could prevent progress in the Princess City.

A representative from the city says attracting grocers downtown has not been easy.

The problem is big box stores have been hesitant about setting up shop without a built-in customer base.

Friday, good weather got many Mishawaka residents out of the house and out to Buetter Park.

“It’s beautiful, they keep this park up a lot and I like a lot of the stuff that they’ve done with it,” said park-goer Michael Litteral.

Many of them said if the area was more walk-able, they would have more reason to stay downtown.

“I usually take my car, I don’t usually walk around much just because to get from one place to another, there’s nothing really close,” said Granger resident Raven Ebright.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes, but these folks would like to see a fresh market downtown.  

“Walmart, like I said, is about 20 minutes away from where I live so to have it in this area specifically, not only would it be more convenient for me but i think it’ll make it a lot more beautiful place to be,” said resident Leah Ferraro.

A developer at Flaherty & Collins says grocers like to set up shops with dense populations.

The company will soon build a 200-plus apartment unit development in downtown Mishawaka, so he hopes that could solve the problem.

Before then, the city and developers will look at new grocery store models so neighbors won’t have to drive miles just to bring fresh food downtown.

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