New Downtown Condos Proposed

by Nick Molnar on January 23, 2008

A new condo project has been announced at the JMS building in South Bend’s downtown. A firm timeline of construction and occupancy isn’t available, but preliminary plans call for:

  • 28 units spread across the 6th, 7th and 8th floors of the building
  • units with 1 bedroom, 1 bath to 2 bedrooms, 2 baths
  • 648 square feet to 1,173 square feet per unit
  • prices from $155,000 to $295,000
  • parking spaces available at an additional cost

That breaks down to about $250/square foot, more than the ~ $171 / square foot base price at the area’s most upscale condos – Irish Crossings. Total cost per unit is inline with other popular condos including Dublin Village and Oak Hill.

The building has the best city views South Bend offers, and some windows have glimpses of the Golden Dome and the river. The 8th floor units would be some of the highest residences in the area, along with those at the Karl King Tower.

What do you think – is downtown South Bend ready for condos? Will these be a success where GameDay Hall of Fame and Colfax Place weren’t? Share your thoughts in the comments. Include your questions and I’ll try to get answers for you.

JMS building in South Bend, Indiana. Site of proposed downtown condos

City view from proposed condo site in South Bend

View from proposed condo site in South Bend: Golden Dome and river


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

NDtom January 23, 2008 at 10:10 pm

This project won’t be very successful. I don’t want to start it’s demise yet, but who wants to live downtown, at those prices????? Maybe if they made it into a condo-hotel, with a very strong hotel management component it would have a chance, otherwise it is DOA.

Your numbers per s.f. don’t fully reflect how expensive the JMS project is. For example, at Irish Crossings (where $/s.f. is less than $171 for a triplex unit) you get at least FOUR parking spaces and your garage is finished with drywall, paint, and trim. That impressed me since that isn’t seen often in our market. Plus, some of these projects, such as Irish Crossings and Pendle Woods, are in the county with the low county property taxes.

I just don’t see who the buyers for these will be. Certainly people that live in the area won’t buy there at those prices. It is out of towners who would buy but the alternatives – IC, DV, WP, PW, are all much much much better for the money. I am actually shocked that this project would even be considered by anyone who knows this area’s market (let alone the current U.S. housing market). I just don’t see it, I really don’t.

For this to even have a prayer, it depends on location, location, location. Here you have better views of wino’s and homeless people than the ND campus. (no offense intended to people in need, support your local charities that try to assist rehabilitate those in need such as those with drug problems).

I just don’t see what need this project is trying to meet….. Please help me to understand this.

Reply

Anon January 24, 2008 at 1:44 am

The high prices at Oak Hill don’t result in sales….some have been on the market for well over a year. You should look at the sold s.f. pricing. Nobody will pay that for downtown and few if any for Oak Hill.

Reply

Robert January 30, 2008 at 12:41 pm

For this to even have a prayer, it depends on location, location, location. Here you have better views of wino’s and homeless people than the ND campus. (no offense intended to people in need, support your local charities that try to assist rehabilitate those in need such as those with drug problems).

That is a terrible mischaracterization of the downtown. The worst you can say about the downtown is that it is dull, often empty, and unimaginatively utilized (though it is getting better). Most of those who have the preconception that it is a rough, even dangerous place are also those (in my experience) who never go there.

But I think these game-day condos are a mistake. On the one hand, those who come to South Bend 6 times a year have very little interest in the city itself. Witness, on game days, that the great pubs and restaurants downtown are not more appreciably full than on any other day — while the hellish strip-restaurants on Grape Road and in Roseland are packed.

On the other hand, if the downtown is to thrive it needs ordinary, year-round residents. For that reason, too, devoting residential space to game-day-only condos is a mistake. I think that if there were affordable, well-appointed residences downtown, AND a corresponding growth in downtown services (supermarket, bookstore, movie theater etc.) there would be plenty of young professional/university people wanting to move into them.

Reply

NDtom February 2, 2008 at 4:57 pm

I think Robert’s post is fine, but I’ve been downtown and looked out office windows watching people urinate in the alleys. Maybe downtown needs more clean public restrooms?

If the built housing for $100 s.f., you’d get some downtown year round residents even with city property tax rates. In my opinion, giving away land to build decent apartments is what is needed….right now, no one wants to make a $250 s.f. commitment to downtown…the market isn’t there. But to get year round residents to live there the need the market flexibility of renting……the commitment to own just can’t be made. Once there is a grouping of 100-200 apartments, other businesses will do better instead of just lunch time. I’m pretty sure my assessment of the market it correct.

Reply

NDtom February 2, 2008 at 5:11 pm

P.S. Sorry about the typos, I was on the phone!

Have the city give away land to build decent apartments. That would be a start. I’m pretty sure my assessment of the market IS correct.

Reply

Leave a Comment