Study looks into revitalization of State Road 933 corridor

Published: Feb. 9, 2021 at 5:44 PM EST
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - It’s a road that has been known by many names: U.S. 31, old U.S. 31, Dixie Highway, State Road 933.

Through it all, it has been a gateway from the north into St. Joseph County and the University of Notre Dame.

A new study unveiled today marks the start of efforts to redevelop and revitalize the 933 Corridor.

If you head to Grape Road, Eddy Street Commons, or Downtown South Bend, you pretty much know what to expect.

If you go to the 933 Corridor—you seem to get a little bit of everything.

Where the old North Village Mall stood, there is now an assisted living facility.

Across the street, a hotel is now being built on the old Steak And Ale restaurant lot.

As for the former Ponderosa property, that has yet to be repurposed.

“Part of the study is to understand why, you know, it has gone in those different directions. There’s never been a really good plan for the corridor itself,” said St. Joseph County Economic Development Specialist Chris Brown.

The stretch of State Road 933 from Angela Boulevard clear to the state line still carries some 28,000 vehicles per day.

There appears to be no interest in development along the southern portion that runs past the campuses of Holy Cross, St. Mary’s, and Notre Dame.

Further north, ever changing commercial property uses seem to create an ever-elusive identity.

“I think that’s where we’re, where we’re struggling a little bit is that it is a gateway, you know, it comes from Michigan and it’s a gateway at the Indiana Toll Road, so we’re trying to identify how do we better market, how do we better brand,” Brown explained.

A new study unveiled today recommends that future developments tie with the LaSalle hiking and biking trail (multi-purpose path) that runs the length of the corridor just to the west of the roadway.

The study also recommends increasing the number and diversity of housing options and suggests that the county assist in preparing real estate for such uses by helping to provide access to sewer and water lines.

“As we look at utilities is a big limiting factor, we want to understand okay, what kind of funding mechanisms can we, you know, incorporate? So, that’s why TIF is kind of brought up in that, in that mention. That’s really kind of the county’s only way to really affect a utility expansion.”

It’s expected that the study will be available online in about a week.

Today, a presentation hitting the highlights was made before the St. Joseph County Redevelopment Commission.

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