For the couple dozen tenants who have started moving in at The Mill at Ironworks Plaza, their living choice represents the type of destination the city is striving to become.
Two years ago, Indianapolis-based developer Flaherty & Collins Properties broke ground at Beutter Park for the 232-unit mixed use property at a site that once was home to Ball Band/Uniroyal.
Today, renters there are witness to a downtown transformation where the apartments, retail spaces and private/public parking garage in the development give inhabitants a feel of the new urban vibe.
He said there are few developments like The Mill in cities like Mishawaka because of what he called an economic gap — caused mainly when young professionals grow up and leave their hometowns because they cannot offer the walkable communities with the high-end amenities.
Costs to build The Mill development exceeded the original estimate of $45 million, Prince said. The city chipped in more than $9.5 million, and $5.26 million was procured from the state’s Regional Cities Initiative.
That financial commitment meant the difference between a smaller apartment development and what is seen today in The Mill at Ironworks Plaza, he said.
“With the economic development with Regional Cities and the city of Mishawaka, we put our best foot forward to help attract the demographics (of young professionals),” Prince said.
Ken Prince, a city planner who attended the development’s open house for brokers on Tuesday, said Regional Cities funding “was the catalyst” in bringing this type of high-end apartment living to Mishawaka.
Brian Prince said current tenants for The Mill will likely be 70% young professionals and 30% empty-nesters. The first 130 apartments are done, he said, with the final 100 units on the south side scheduled to be complete by the end of November.
Monthly rents range from $850 for a studio to a high-end 2-bedroom for almost $2,600.
And amenities for new tenants are many.
The parking garage has enough spaces for tenants as well as 133 spaces for the public.
The east side of the development will have retail spaces for restaurants, hair salons and other businesses.
Kalon Hair Lab is the first retail tenant to sign a lease so far in the Mill, and Brian Prince said the business is looking at a late-October or November opening.
Other businesses are considering some of the retail space from the 13,000 square feet offered in the building.
Tenants also have access to both a fitness center and a spinning room.
There is a pet spa where tenants can wash their animals. The Mill also has what they call a “maker’s space,” a room where tenants can do crafts, woodworking or other construction projects.
An interior courtyard for tenants has a pool with a tanning shelf, barbecue grill stations, a putting green, a bark yard and cornhole games.
Mill officials say the first tenants are being drawn to the northern view of the St. Joseph River, and Beutter Park is experiencing its next phase as construction of parking and a beer garden, labeled with the German “biergarten,” will have bathrooms, a pavilion, patio and picnic furniture.
Other new items in Beutter Park slated for completion in 2023 are an ice skating ribbon and rink and a building that will house a cafe, rink rentals and event space.