Mishawaka plans to combine city, police buildings at Liberty Mutual site downtown
MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- Big plans are in the works to transform the Liberty Mutual building in downtown Mishawaka. Mishawaka Mayor Dave Wood has signed a letter of understanding with intentions to purchase the building.
The move will relocate the Mishawaka Police Department, city hall, and the utilities offices under one roof. Wood announced plans Wednesday to purchase the Liberty Mutual building on Lincolnway West.
“This opportunity allows us to bring three buildings under one roof, to gain efficiency, to grow for the future, to improve our downtown, and ultimately this is all about serving our citizens,” Wood said.
The Liberty Mutual building went up for sale in early 2019. Once it’s sold, employees will either be relocated or work from home.
Putting all of three major departments in one space will also open up more public parking spaces and bring the opportunity for more development downtown. All three buildings will have potential to be turned into something else to benefit the city once relocation is complete.
Wood said his goal is to accomplish this project without having to increase tax or utility rates for the citizens of Mishawaka.
Purchasing the building will cost the city $2.35 million, most of the funding coming from The Tax Increment Finance funds. Renovations will boast a price of $15 to 20 million but Mayor Wood says moving into the building will solve a lot of problem at once.
Mishawaka’s city hall is operating out of an old school building which Wood said is quickly running out of space. The police department needs its roof and H-VAC replaced and much of the Mishawaka Utilities building is unsafe to use.
“We’re kind of jammed in operating out of classrooms and it doesn’t really lend itself to efficiency and public service,” Wood said. “If we kept our current facilities we would have to invest millions into them just to bring them up to date and they still wouldn’t be at a point where we could have full service potential out of them for our citizens.”
The purchase will have to go through a series of approval processes and Wood hopes to have the purchase agreement finalized by August of this year. They will begin moving in by 2020 and he hopes to open the building in 2021.
The plan to purchase the building will go before the Mishawaka Redevelopment commission on Monday.
You can view the full plan for the Liberty Mutual building below.