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New residential housing unit, new Martin's supermarket coming to Elkhart

ELKHART, Ind. – What will Michiana look like in the year 2027? The City of Elkhart will certainly be much different thanks to hundreds of millions of dollars in development projects getting underway there. The City of Elkhart Redevelopment Commission is taking a step forward in part of a $34 million dollar project that will relocate the Martin’s store on the Easy Shopping Center South and bring residential units to the area.

If the project moves forward, the strip mall at Easy Shopping Center South could be torn down as early as September to house a new Martin’s Supermarket and eventually new upscale housing.

The Redevelopment Commission of the City of Elkhart met to take another step forward on remaking much of downtown Elkhart.

The focus this time is the Easy Shopping Center South.

“It would mean just under $35 million dollars of new development and a renewed street scape and living for 154 units worth of people which amounts to maybe 220-240 different individuals living downtown,” said Brad Toothaker, Managing Partner for Great Lakes Capital.

While the plan has the approval of the Redevelopment Commission, it still needs the approval of the Elkhart City Council, the Elkhart Economic Development Commission, and some planning approvals before it can move forward.

"We think it’s gonna be a real economic boom, certainly an aesthetic change to downtown Elkhart, and we hope it brings with it a lot of people to the downtown area, which will further drive the redevelopment of other perhaps retail projects,” said Steve Eldridge, President of the Redevelopment Commission for the City of Elkhart.

First to go on the plan is the strip mall at Easy Shopping Center South.

The project would begin with the demolition of the strip mall where the new Martin’s Supermarket will be housed.

Toothaker hopes that part of the project will take about a year to complete. Once that’s done, the old Martin’s Supermarket will be torn down and the 154 housing units will begin to be built.

The project should be completed by mid to late 2020.

This project is part of a larger plan to revitalize the city, including the $250 million dollar River District Project that will bring walkable streets, stores, housing, an aquatics center, and hopefully more young residents to the area.

“Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of development is going to take place. Good for the economy, good for all the new people that are coming to the Elkhart area. It’s a hard thing to talk about in a short period of time because it’s so big, but it’s going to be good for the City of Elkhart and good for Elkhart County as well,” said Eldridge.

This is a massive undertaking, and Eldridge says downtown Elkhart will change completely in the next three to five years as all the groups involved in the project work together to bring everything to fruition.

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