Seven story riverfront condo buildings proposed for South Bend

Some home town developers want to offer a new level of luxury living in Downtown South Bend.

A proposed condo project called “The Cascade” calls for two, seven story—pre-cast concrete towers—on the banks of the St. Joseph River, across from Century Center (on the former site of the Wharf Restaurant at the river and Colfax).

“This is ‘the’ river view,” said Frank Perri of Wharf Partners, LLC, “This is ‘the’ prime frontage.”

Units would start at $500,000 and top-out at about $800,000, depending on the floor plan.

“There are plenty of half a million and up houses in the community, primarily in Granger, and we’re going to attract that market,” said Perri. “I think those who have now had the kids raised and off and they’ve got this big home and they want a little bit more urban lifestyle and they want quality.”

The site of the proposed development is one and a half acres. Each tower would stand 75 feet tall and contain 12 condos or two per floor. The ground floor would consist of a parking structure.

The units would overlook the cascades where the water flows over the Century Center dam to the east of the convention center building.

“We’re encouraged by the townhouse home development along the river and behind over on Niles (Avenue), we’re encouraged by Eddy Street Commons, that’s brought a price point quite high, and in fact, comparable, close to comparable,” said Perri.

While the sky’s the limit for condo buildings that will feature rooftop gardens, the business plan at The Cascade is down to earth.

“Financing being what it is today, It’s very difficult. We have to at least hit 50 percent pre-solds. Now we’re making some efforts towards that. We have some people with deposits that are very interested,” said Perri.

It’s hoped that the building could begin as early as next spring with the first tower ready for occupancy in 2014.

“I think our target market is people who are mature empty nesters,” said Tom Panzica of Wharf Partners, LLC. “Perhaps they might be living in the suburbs right now, or perhaps in the city, but they’re tired of the lawn work and having a big house.”

The estimated cost of construction for the first building alone is in the $8 million range.

While the developers say it’s likely that they will seek some assistance from the City of South Bend, talks have yet to produce a final resolution.

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