The decades-old dream of acollege townadjacent to the University of Notre Dame campus took a significant step forward Monday night (July 16).
After some five hours of often passionate debate, the South Bend Common Council voted unanimously to approve the rezoning of 25 acres of land south of campus for the construction of Eddy Street Commons, a $200 million, mixed-use project that will be built on Notre Dames southern boundary along Edison Road and Eddy Street.
The development will include more than 86,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 75,000 square feet of rental office space, a 248-room full-service Marriott hotel, a 123-room Springhill Suites hotel, more than 250 apartments, some 80 town homes and about 120 condominiums.
Kite Realty Group of Indianapolis, the developer for the project, expects to begin site work next month. The retail and restaurant space, apartments and hotels are targeted for completion in the summer of 2009. The town homes and condominiums will be developed in phases, with anticipated deliveries between 2009 and 2011.
Among those speaking in support of the project Monday night were Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dames president, University Executive Vice President John Affleck-Graves, and South Bend Mayor Steve Luecke.
Calling the projectunprecedented in the recent history of South Bend,Luecke told the Common Council that heenthusiasticallysupports the development.
Notre Dame has worked closely over the past decade with representatives of community groups in the Northeast Neighborhood to develop a plan that meets the needs of residents, the University, the city, and the entire metropolitan area.
Numerous residents spoke before the council in support of the development, citing hundreds of new jobs, housing options and nearby shopping and dining as positive factors.
Several opponents of the project had raised objections in recent weeks related to the size of the project, environmental issues, the impact on downtown businesses and traffic.
Kite representatives addressed most of the concerns by making a variety of commitments, including:
- A limitation on the height of the Marriott to six stories for the hotel topped by three stories for condos.* The creation of apocket parkof some 5,000 square feet to provide more green space.* The incorporation of bike lanes, bike racks and a bike cage within a parking garage.* The use of environmentally friendly building principals.* A limitation of the height of the retail and restaurant buildings on Eddy Street to four stories, except for two five-story buildings on the corner of Eddy and Edison.* The relocation of small animals that inhabit the wooded thicket currently on the site, as well as dislocated animals that find their way into neighboring homes.* Preservation of six of the 13 acres of the woods.
To replace the woods, Notre Dame will build on the north side of Edison a 12-acre, tree-lined park called Town Commons that – unlike the woods – will be open to the public.
There are plans for continuing development in the Northeast Neighborhood in coming years, including the creation of Innovation Park, a 10-acre technology and research facility to be developed immediately to the east of Eddy Street Commons by Notre Dame, the city and the economic development organization Project Future.