7 Developments Making Goshen A New Urban Hub
You know the look of shock. That appreciative nod with a little touch of awe that accompanies your visitors’ reactions when first visiting Goshen.
“Wow, I had no idea Goshen was so … ” they start, and you know what’s coming. “ … cool.”
Of course, Goshen has always been cool. Even without the artisan shops and farm-to-table restaurants, Goshen’s real charm has always really resided in the soul of its population. People here are uncommonly willing to be kind to their neighbors, help those who need it, and create innovate ways to improve the general standard of living for all.
As word of our city’s “coolness” has spread over the years, more and more people are looking to visit and move to Goshen. The surge in interest has attracted developers too. Goshen is on track to add at least 7 new residential and commercial developments within the year. The residential projects range in size and value, providing housing for people of all socioeconomic levels and interests. As far as the commercial developments, you can also look forward to a few hip, new hotels where visitors can vacation or –– why not? –– residents can stay-cation.
Here’s what’s going
down up in Goshen.
The Artist’s Haven
In early 2015, a centuries-old former furniture factory along the Mill Race Canal was converted into a residential community called “The Hawks.” The Hawks, owned and operated by the local nonprofit housing agency LaCasa, Inc., was specifically designed for artists and entrepreneurs as a “live-work community.” Or in other words, apartments that double as studio space.
Sound like a dream come true, but worried it would be too expensive? The Hawks has you covered. Following affordable housing guidelines, The Hawks only accepts applicants who qualify in a certain income bracket. (To see if you qualify, follow this link.)
Home to graphic designers, dance instructors, musicians, chefs, painters, actors, potters, photographers, and –– deep breath! –– business owners, each of The Hawks’ 35 loft apartments contain both a living area and workspace. Residents can also use the hallways as gallery space to display and sell their artwork.
The Hawks has been so successful, LaCasa is planning to expand. They are currently in the process of obtaining funding to rehab the north half of the building into 23 live-work loft apartments, along with a large public gallery space on the first floor.
The Intentional Community
The concept of “cohousing” is that of intentional community. Here’s how it works: A group of private households center around a shared common space where neighbors gather regularly for meals and events; community members share certain chores like raking leaves, babysitting, or shoveling the sidewalks; and they share resources like laundry machines and lawnmowers. Cohousing neighborhoods have been popular in Europe for years, but have only recently begun popping up stateside. Within the year, though, Goshen will get its own cohousing neighborhood –– one of only three in the state.
Located on the north end of the Millrace Trail, the Millrace Cohousing Neighborhood is currently under construction. The project was spearheaded by Goshen resident Mary Ellen Meyer who, in her early 80s, partnered with local developer Richard Miller to bring her plans to life. Though the planning and negotiating process took nearly five years, the 14-unit complex began construction in the fall of 2016.
As of September 2016, 10 of the 14 units had already been claimed. That month, Richard, Mary Ellen and her husband Al, and the other co-housers gathered for a groundbreaking ceremony complete with tea, cookies, and plenty of camaraderie. Soon, they’ll be gathering again on a regular basis. Only then, in the comfort of their own shared common house.
The Downtown Digs
LaCasa Inc. (yep –– the same nonprofit that funded The Hawks) recently acquired five apartment buildings with 21 units on the northeast side of Goshen along East Lincoln Avenue. LaCasa plans to completely rehab the properties into high quality affordable and market-rate dwellings. With one to two bedrooms a unit, the apartments are perfect for singles or couples –– and are only a minute’s walk from downtown Goshen.
“Part of our goal is to provide housing for people who want to live near downtown,” said Brad Hunsberger, Vice President of Real Estate Development at LaCasa Inc. “We keep hearing stories about people wanting to move to downtown because they’ve heard such good things about it, but can’t find a place to live.”
The apartments will provide high-quality yet affordable urban housing to singles and couples looking to live closer to downtown. Sound like a good deal to you? Keep your eyes peeled for “For Rent” signs. The first apartment is set to be available for rent as early as April, with other units going on the market within the year.
The Row Houses With A View
North Section Between Douglas Street and Purl Street, Between River Race Drive and the Millrace
In recent years, developer David Matthews has made waves for his luxury-style townhomes in downtown South Bend. Not only are his developments beautiful, they’re specifically designed for modern, urban living. Built near the city center, Matthews’ intent is to encourage walkability, shopping local, and create tight-knit neighborhood communities.
In 2010, Matthews acquired land north of the Cohousing Neighborhood between Douglas Street and Purl Street adjacent to the Millrace Canal in Goshen. Though he had never built outside of South Bend before, Matthews was convinced that Goshen fit his criteria for a thriving urban center.
“Going to Goshen was a big move,” said Matthews. “It was the first time we had done anything outside of St. Joseph County. But Goshen has a great downtown. There’s so much entrepreneurship. There’s a surprising amount going on that you don’t see in other cities of that size. Goshen is like a neighborhood in a bigger city.”
The brick and limestone townhouses, which will begin construction in early- to mid-2017, will have attached car garages, fenced-in front yards, and park views. Floor plan sizes range from 1,200 to 6,000 square feet, two to three stories, nine to 10 foot ceilings, and one to five bedrooms. Interested? The first townhouse will function as a model home for prospective buyers, so stop by for a tour later this year.
The Luxury Lofts
After years of dilapidation, the site of the old Goshen Inn is about to be transformed. Brazil, Indiana-based developer The Emmert Group is building upscale apartments called Fidler Cove. To Emmert Group CEO Brad Emmert, building a high-quality product is of primary concern.
“We want the cities where we build to be proud of our buildings,” said Emmert. “We want our tenants to be proud of their homes.”
Emmert also added that Goshen’s thriving downtown compelled him to jump on the development prospect.
“Goshen’s downtown area is just wonderful,” said Emmert. “The trail system is awesome, and Fidler Park is very nice. I think the whole town is wonderful.”
Fidler Cove will feature 17 two-story buildings with approximately 160 market-rate apartments, each with one to three bedrooms. Interiors will have nine-foot ceilings, granite counter tops, and tiled bathroom floors. Residents will have private garages and access to a community fitness room, meeting rooms, an outdoor gathering area with a grill and fireplace, and a dog park.
Think this living situation sounds pretty ideal? You won’t have to wait long. Tenants could start leasing apartments as early as winter of 2017.
The Traveler’s Paradise
Keystone Drive, South West Off Lincolnway East
Goshen is soon to get its first Marriott-affiliated hotel. Schrock Commercial was recently approved by the city to build a 4-story Fairfield Marriott Hotel off of U.S. Highway 33, just south of College Avenue. The state-of-the-art facility will have 90 rooms, an outdoor and indoor pools, meeting room, fitness center, and business center.
With construction breaking ground in mid-March of this year, the hotel is set to open by the end of the year if not before.
The Locavore’s Lodging
Scott and Sarah Baker, long-time owners of Goshen’s Best Western Inn, will soon open a boutique-style hotel next to Fidler Pond Park. The hotel, called “GLō,” is a subsidiary brand under Best Western Hotels. The hotel features more modern architectural design –– smaller rooms, larger public gathering spaces, green space, even an outdoor patio and performance venue. The GLō brand also encourages owners to incorporate local flair into such areas as menu items and decor.
Taking the “local flair” idea and running, Scott and Sarah plan to serve Goshen Brewing Co. beer at the bar, host concerts in conjunction with Ignition Music Garage, and display local art in the hallways and the lobby. They’re also hoping to hire a local chef for the hotel’s restaurant. On top of all that, Scott and Sarah also want to encourage their guests to explore the town on wheels: The hotel will offer bicycle rental on site, which will be available to both guests and the public.
“Our hotel will benefit the city of Goshen in a big way,” said Sarah. “We plan to direct our visitors to local businesses during the week and on the weekends. We want to partner with local places and offer as many local products as possible.”
Good of Goshen Editor • Liz Shenk
Good of Goshen Photography • Ashley Ganger