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Mishawaka hotel may be redeveloped into apartments after common council approves zoning change

A rendering of the apartment complex presented at the June 14, 2022 Mishawaka Board of Zoning & Appeals meeting.
City of Mishawaka YouTube
A rendering of the apartment complex presented at the June 14, 2022 Mishawaka Board of Zoning & Appeals meeting.

A Mishawaka hotel at the corner of Lincolnway East and Capital Avenue on the St. Joseph River may be redeveloped into apartments after the common council unanimously approved a needed zoning change Tuesday.

Developers plan to convert the existing Mishawaka Inn building into 60 studio apartments and construct a new building closer to the river, which will hold 46 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The Barak Group, who also built the River Rock Apartments in Mishawaka, plans on purchasing the hotel from Balaji Hospitality Group to build the project.

“I get to page two, and I just say, ‘how quickly can I vote yes?’” council member Matt Mammolenti said. “I really love the concept.”

“This has been a property that has needed some tender loving care for many, many years,” council member Gregg Hixenbaugh said. “I’m pleased to see that there’s a chance that an improvement can be made in the area that will benefit the entire community.”

John Piraccini is with Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate. Speaking on behalf of the developers, he said the hotel is currently about 30 percent occupied with long-term tenants.

The rehab will be done in sections, so tenants could stay while it happens, and they may be offered a first shot at leasing the new units.

“They’re paying a daily rate there,” Piraccini said. “When this is done, it’s probably going to be similar to a monthly rate in the rehabbed place.”

Piraccini said units will be rented at market rates, potentially from $800 to $1200 a month.

Rehab on the first building may begin in 2023 and finish in 2024. The new building may be completed by 2025.

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Jakob Lazzaro comes to Indiana from Chicago, where he graduated from Northwestern University in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and a double major in History. Before joining WVPE, he wrote NPR's Source of the Week e-mail newsletter, and previously worked for CalMatters, Pittsburgh's 90.5 WESA and North by Northwestern.