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Elkhart River District continues to make progress

Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 7:49 PM EDT
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - It promises to be a sight to see.

Not far from the front door of a brand new Martin’s Super Market, a park is being built where you might expect to see a parking lot.

“So people will be able to be at the side door, pick up you know a Starbucks or some bar-b-cue or a burger and actually be able to walk and just enjoy it right here,” said Shelley Moore with the River District implementation team.

Walk is the key word.

Everything they do downtown now is designed to make the River District more walkable and livable, what with 500 new housing units expected to be completed or under construction here by 2022.

“But we know the trends are for millennials as well as baby boomers that they are moving to downtown urban areas where there is lower maintenance, there’s more walkability, not as much driving,” Moore said.

Stonewater at the river walk is among the first River District projects now ready to take on tenants.

“I live in Elkhart right here at these new apartments I chose those apartments because of the river walk development and right by me is a future kayak and paddle boarding launch,” said Melinda Martz.

Martz moved here from Mishawaka and has already walked to several restaurants and strolled to the grocery today.

She’s not yet walked to the aquatic center, where the construction of retail space and 20 town homes is expected to start by the end of the year.

“Elkhart is a legacy city, it is one that is primarily considered blue collar manufacturing, it’s great to have communities that are inside of it that provide a different feel,” said Elkhart Mayor Rod Roberson.

The commitment to the River District project has now continued through three separate mayors and city administrations.

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