Transpo hosts final meeting with consensus board

South Bend, Ind. Transpo’s final meeting with South Bend community representatives brought a piece of prime riverfront property one step closer to a developer.

The South Bend Public Transportation Corporation met with the Northside Property Consensus Building group Tuesday afternoon. The group is a collection of representatives from the City, DTSB, businesses and neighborhood groups formed to help recommend the best plan.

The 10-acre parcel of land in question is the site of the old Transpo headquarters.

Tuesday was the final meeting before the Transpo Board sits down to select a developer.

“The conversation was very colorful, very informative,” said Transpo General Manager David Cangany. “Ultimately I think it’s going to help provide some great information some great insight.”

The buzz word of the meeting was “density.” The three developers -- The Place Group, Century Builder, and Matthews LLC – provided plans that range from low density housing with bigger lots to very high density with a mix of different housing types.

Mary Bundy, President of the Howard Park Neighborhood Association, advocated for the higher density plan.

“Having a range of housing costs for the residents, I think, is only something that's going to help the community,” Bundy said.

She said it is important to have affordable options in addition to the luxury town homes and houses.

“Many people say I want to live there but I can't afford a half million dollar home,” Bundy said. “But could you afford a $120,000 condo? Could you afford an $87,000 condo? That would be awesome.”

On the other hand, Don Schefmeyer, president of the Howard Park/East Bank Neighborhood Association, says low density, single-family-home lots are better for the community.

“The lower the density generally when it's a new property or new properties are being developed, it makes it a more stable neighborhood,” Schefmeyer said. “You don't have a lot of transience generally buying single family residential.”

Cagany said the Transpo board will take density into consideration when making its decision.

That decision should come in the next two weeks.

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