Roseland rumble has ramifications

By: Ryan Famuliner Email
By: Ryan Famuliner Email

The political rumblings in Roseland have left some investors saying, enough is enough.

A local real estate investor says the council's melee cost the city of Roseland hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have come in from out of state.

Blue & Gold Homes of South Bend says they were close to closing a deal that would have refurbished the vacant Stevens building off State Road 933 in Roseland into condominiums and commercial space.

But they say what could have been a rejuvenating force in the area, fell through because of Roseland's political mess.

Roseland officials have big hopes for the area near the Stevens building.

“This is the last really viable strip in South Bend, even relatively close to Notre Dame, right outside of Notre Dame's door. It's a very, very lucrative area to develop in,” said Roseland town council member Ted Penn.

Jason Cook, with Blue & Gold Homes, says the Stevens building had some out-of-state investors drooling when they saw the location on the map.

He says investors were set to spend $200,000 on renovations for the building, and Blue & Gold Homes would spend $250,000 of their own.

That is...until what happened Friday.

“They had known about the unrest in politics in Roseland, but the idea that they had was that at least everybody was trying to make the town a little bit nicer. The actions that they saw from the police department must have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. We got the call Sunday afternoon saying they were out of the deal. As of (Monday) morning it was officially dead,” Cook said.

While Blue & Gold Homes is out a year of work lining up the deal, Cook says it's a much bigger problem.

“I think all of St. Joe County should pay more attention...that's St. Joe County losing $200,000 (in out of state money) to local hardware stores, local electricians, local plumbers, local carpenters that would be working the property,” Cook said.

Roseland officials believe there will be plenty of investors interested down the land

“We're on the tail-end of some problems that's been here, everyone's kind of aware of it and if they don't get in quickly there may not be opportunity or room for them later,” Penn said.

But Cook says he's not concerned about that.

“This is the second deal we've had fall through in Roseland in the last year and a half, and it will be the last time we prospect in Roseland,” Cook said.

The other prospect Cook looked into was property across the street from the Stevens building. The company was interested in turning it into some town homes, but easement problems caused that plan to fall through as well.

As for the chances the plan will still go through, Cook says the investors have no interest in the plan; and unless he can find some other investors very soon, he's lost interest as well.

He's already told the bank that was helping with the foreclosure that the deal is no more.

Cook says Friday’s events have definitely got his attention

“Not living in Roseland, I kind of always put it on the back burner. I read about it in the paper it was more like an entertainment kind of thing, like a soap opera that you would follow. Now that it's affected my pocket, I'm paying a little more attention,” Cook said.

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