New apartments clear first hurdle from Mishawaka officials despite neighbors' traffic worries
Mishawaka city planners have welcomed a developer’s proposal to build high-end apartments near Fir Road and Beacon Parkway, despite some opposition.
Wisconsin-based Continental Properties wants to build a 280-unit gated complex at the intersection’s northeast corner. The Springs at Mishawaka would offer two-story townhomes with attached garages, a clubhouse, two pet parks, a dog wash, a car care center and pool.
Monthly rents would range from $1,500 for a 1-bedroom studio to $2,350 for a 3-Bedroom.
Several people who live along Fir Road want the city to pause the project because they say traffic already grinds to a halt twice a day when nearby St. Pius school begins and ends. They include Andrew Piper, a retiree who lives across Fir from the intersection.
Piper was one of three nearby residents who spoke against the project at the Oct. 10 Mishawaka Plan Commission meeting, where he said he sometimes has to ask St. Pius parents to let him out of his driveway as they’re lined up around his house.
At about 4 p.m. Tuesday, which is a bit after the school rush, Piper talked about the traffic with me while standing in his yard.
“In the mornings and in the evenings at quitting time, this is just solid,” Piper said. “It’s a racetrack. See that group here? They just come off that light there. Well they’re in one lane because they know what they’re doing…”
Piper asked the commission to pause the project until they can ask St. Joseph County officials to first widen Fir Road. But plan commissioners wanted to move forward, voting 5-2 to give the plan a favorable recommendation to the city’s common council. It next goes to a council committee for debate.