Monday, May 07, 2007

And if you keep building it... | by Jay

As if on cue: the SBT has another article on the Eddy Commons, highlighting the expanding footprint of the project. Not one, but two hotels -- and more.

The project has grown in density. The original plans, released last year, proposed a 150-room hotel. A second hotel is now planned.

A 248-unit full-service hotel will be built just south of Edison Road, in north-south alignment with Notre Dame Stadium, according to officials with Kite Realty Group of Indianapolis. Kite was selected by Notre Dame to develop the college town project.

The hotel will be six stories, with an 8,000-square-foot ballroom and 4,000 square feet of meeting rooms. And it could grow even taller: The hotel may be topped with an additional three stories of condominiums.

The full-service hotel "will be the signature building in the development," said David Compton, Kite's vice president for development and land acquisition.

Just east of that hotel will be a smaller 123-room limited-service hotel.

Compton said both hotels will be commercially operated by a well-known operator, but would not reveal a name.

Other elements of the project planned for 25 acres of Notre Dame-owned land south of campus:

* 82,600 square feet of shops and restaurants along both sides of Eddy Street. The retail area would feature four-story buildings.

* A parking garage with space for 1,043 vehicles. The garage will have four floors, including one underground.

* 268 rental apartments above the retail storefronts, mixed with 75,000 square feet of rental office space.

* 49 four-story townhouses wrapping around the east and south sides of the parking garage. There will be a one-car garage on the ground level of each townhouse.

* 52 condominiums

* 63 three-story townhouses, with two-car garages on the ground level

* 22 2 1/2-story "courtyard" town homes, each with an attached two-car rear garage and a small outdoor courtyard.

A version of the plan released by Notre Dame last fall showed one hotel, 100 rental apartments and a parking garage for 270 to 400 vehicles, in addition to townhouses and condominiums.

Marketing research completed since then supports a greater density to the project, with demand evident, Compton said.

He stressed that the current plan is still in the proposal stage and will need zoning approval from the South Bend Common Council. Kite has filed a request with the city to rezone the entire parcel as a planned unit development. The request could come before the Area Plan Commission on June 19.

The Common Council will make a final decision. If approved, construction could begin in the fall.
The new layout (posted above) updates the one in the previous post (which was released last year). Both hotels will face Edison, just east of the retail strip on Eddy, with the four-story parking garage behind them to the south. By the way, as Dylan pointed out, how much of this expansion and increase in "demand" since last year, according to the market researchers, is directly attributable to the resurgence of football under Charlie Weis? But I digress.

Key sentence (from later in the article):
Under its contract with Kite, Notre Dame retains the right of final approval over tenants and types of businesses that may locate in the retail area.
Keep an eye on what kinds of businesses are allowed to start signing leases.

A final thought. All the hullabaloo in the latest plan seems to be about the hotels, the condos, and the townhouses. To me, the "college town" commercial district is the crux of the project; it's the straw that stirs the drink. Without it, the area would be just another run-of-the-mill housing development.