By Dan Spalding
WARSAW — The Buffalo Street redevelopment project has lined up its first three tenants, including a business that will occupy the first floor of the future multi-use building overlooking Center Lake.
Matthews LLC, South Bend, the developer behind the city’s redevelopment efforts on North Buffalo, is in the middle of its first phase of the residential construction on the west side of Buffalo Street, which will include two types of homes.
David Mathews, the owner, updated the plan commission on the project while discussing a final plat approval for phase 1 Monday night, Jan. 10.
He said they expect to close on the sale of the first townhouse and the first mew, in the next few months.
He also recently unveiled what the nearby multi-use building – the centerpiece of the overall development – will look like.
The building will be constructed where the old parks office and water utility building once stood, along the southern shore of Center Lake.
Matthews declined to announce the entity that will occupy the first floor of the four-floor building.
A restaurant is planned for the ground floor as well.
He said he thinks construction could be complete in about 18 to 24 months.
The project has moved much slower than initially expected, with much of that being caused by the pandemic and a related problem with materials.
Plan Commission member Rick Keeven asked if he’s pleased with the pace of the project.
“No – nothing’s moving on time,” Matthews said, referencing various national trends in which materials are hard to access.
He said he doubts problems with supplies will subside any time soon.
“We don’t know what the next shortage will be. We just suffer through it and try to mitigate it,” he said.
He did say he’s pleased with the interest in the project.
“It’s always slow in the beginning and then once the first homeowners move and lights are on … then the place builds momentum,” he said.
The final plat approved Monday includes plans for an east-west alley.
A private alley between the townhomes and mews will be upgraded to a city street and will be known as Bison Lane.
In other matters, the plan commission chose its officers for the new year.
Tom Allen was chosen as president and Keeven as vice president.
Board member Dan Stevens was sworn in for another term.