45-acre Gumwood development moves forward

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Mishawaka, Ind. A local developer is one step closer to investing millions in Mishawaka’s far northwest side.

On Tuesday night, the city plan commission unanimously approved a request for annexation of the property at Gumwood and Cleveland Roads, just across the road from Toscana Park and Heritage Square.

Great Lakes Capital plans to turn the 45 acres into a mixed-use development that will include apartments, shops, restaurants and even assisted living.

“To have public services for commercial development, you no longer can go further north than this,” said developer Ryan Rans. “And, with all the residential development, this will be right at the footstep of that.”

The development would be about 50 percent bigger than those across the street. Rans says it will be good for existing businesses and homeowners because it will help address a major traffic concern people have been battling for years.

“It allows all the right-of-way to come into the city and to allow the expansion of Gumwood Road to add the right lane that right now bottlenecks all the cars, all the traffic coming from the north,” Rans said.

Great Lakes Capital worked with homeowners when they expanded Toscana Park. They’re taking a similar approach with the new project, hoping to squash any concerns.

But, some residents are still worried about how a new, large development could impact their neighborhoods.

“There is a neighboring convenience store that was allowed to be put in on Grape Road near our subdivision, which is now an all-night tobacco and liquor store,” said Ron Zielinski. “I would not like us to be surrounded by convenience stores and all-night liquor stores.”

Zoning restrictions are broad for the type of development proposed. Some living nearby spoke out about concerns a gas station would be part of the project. But, that requires a different type of zoning.

Rans says if the proposal is approved by Mishawaka’s city council, they’ll move forward with breaking ground on a 200-unit apartment complex in the spring. He says the entire development will take several years.