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Ordinance paving way for new electric car dealership in Mishawaka approved

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 10:51 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2021 at 11:15 PM EDT
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MISHAWAKA, Ind. (WNDU) - The Mishawaka Common Council votes unanimously to let an electric car business open on the corner of Grape and Cleveland roads.

16 News Now tells us why neighbors, who originally opposed the showroom, spoke in favor of the ordinance at Tuesday night’s meeting.

“We would welcome them as a neighbor,” said nearby resident Rodney Waters.

The council passed the ordinance with no opposition, allowing a new electric car showroom to move into the former JC Penny Home Store.

Neighbors say they’re now on board after doing some research on who might be moving in, and after speaking with the permit applicant Chris Soto.

“He says we’re not trying to hide anything and I want to be as open as I can. Let’s keep lines of communication open, and that’s what we’ve done. We’ve talked every week for the past month and a half. He’s thinking about us, so that’s the main thing I think,” Waters said.

Soto said he spoke with Waters and other neighbors about keeping lighting to a minimum, what landscaping they’ll use and fixing a fence along the west side of the property.

“The condition of the fence--we walked the property--it is not in very good shape. As you get to Mr. Water’s property, most of that fence needs repair or replacement. We will do that,” said Chris Soto from Key Development Partners LLC.

Soto says the business will employ roughly 25-30 people and also house eight dedicated electric vehicle charging stations.

“This demographic area with its population deserves a dedicated charging station. Its proximity to both a lot of people and the highway system makes it an attractive area,” Soto said.

While residents and council members have a hunch of who might be moving, Soto said a nondisclosure agreement kept Soto from revealing the future tenant until now.

He kept the name to himself but said we’ll know who it is within sixty days of the ordinance passing.

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