Greg Hoogenboom (GHS ‘74) isn’t just developing land for a business to go. He’s creating a landscape where business owners and employees can unite their careers with their lifestyles.
Sidewalks will be built on both sides of the street and each business will have a bicycle rack. Landscaped green areas, including some ponds, will provide a beautiful spot to eat outside and to enjoy on the way to and from work. The building facades that face “the road will have glass or masonry, a little bit more than just steel,” Greg said.
“We envision people could live in the area and work in the same area, possibly bike to work, walk to work,” he said. “There’s a school very near to the area, across the pond is a senior living facility. It all ties together, and then the bike path runs kind of through the backyard of it.”
“It just kind of all ties in with living and working,” he said.
Waterford Commons Business Park is a state certified shovel-ready area by the Waterford Mills Parkway, connecting future businesses who reside there, to State Road 15.
At nearly a square mile of land, Waterford Commons Business Park is the largest state-certified shovel-ready site in Elkhart County, according to Greg.
Greg’s vision for Waterford Commons parallels changes in businesses across the country.
Randy Huffman, president of Nuway Construction, said that this type of development is in line with what larger metropolitan areas are doing. Nuway has followed similar guidelines for their developments to “create an environment that’s a little more pleasing” and are also developing land very near Waterford Commons.
According to a Forbes article published last year, 88 percent of millennials (or Generation Y) want a job that has work-life integration. Members of that generation will make up 50 percent of the workforce by 2020, according to a study by PwC, a business services and advisory group. Waterford Commons intends on following the examples of companies like Google and Apple, who have had great success recruiting millennials largely because of their business culture that integrates life and work, their management styles and their approach to recruitment and retention. Surprisingly, the millennials in PwC’s study listed a desire for work-life balance ahead of wanting flexible hours or monetary bonuses.
Greg Hoogenboom runs Hoogenboom Nofziger, the real estate development company his father and a friend started 50 years ago.
In that time, Hoogenboom Nofziger has developed more than 1,000 housing lots, both residential and manufacturing. They’ve had a good working relationship with the Goshen Chamber of Commerce and have stayed in Goshen for 50 years because they’ve enjoyed being here.
“It’s a great place to live,” Greg said. “You’ve got to be here to experience it, but I think once you’re here, you’ll see what we have.”
“We envision people could live in the area and work in the same area … ”