Mishawaka is a thriving city with a population of 49,439 (2007) located in Northern Indiana. With lots of restaurants
, tons of stores to shop
in, and an almost endless list of places to have a good time
, Mishawaka welcomes you.
Mishawaka, the Princess City, lies nestled along the meandering path of the St. Joseph River. The city is named after Princess Mishawaka, daughter of Shawnee Chief Elkhart. The legend of her romance with white trapper Deadshot, and abduction by her jealous Indian suitor Grey Wolf, characterizes the mixture of romance and history still found in Mishawaka today.
The city’s history began with the discovery of bog iron deposits in the early 1830’s. Settlers arriving to mine these deposits founded the town of St. Joseph Iron Works in 1831. Within a couple years, the town had a blast furnace, a general store, a tavern, and about 200 residents. Business prospered, and in 1838, St. Joseph Iron Works and three other small towns nearby were incorporated into one— Mishawaka.
In September of 1872, a fire destroyed three quarters of Mishawaka’s business district. However, the persevering citizens rebuilt and attracted new industry. The Dodge Manufacturing Company, Perkins Windmills and the Mishawaka Woolen and Rubber Company (later Ball Band then Uniroyal) all helped the town to prosper industrially. The town also grew agriculturally. In the late 1800’s, the city gained the title as the "Peppermint Capital of the World" due to the rich black loam found in the area that yield great quantities of mint.
Many European immigrants journeyed here spurred on by the promise of plentiful jobs. Belgians and Italians, along with smaller numbers of Hungarian, Greeks, Germans and Poles established separate neighborhoods, commercial areas and clubs. This European heritage remains a vital influence on present day Mishawaka.
Present day Mishawaka is a community on the go…and the grow. Massive commercial retail development areas within the northern end of the city has caused the Grape Road Commercial Corridor to become the second largest retail market in the state of Indiana. The Grape Road area not only provides for the commercial needs of Mishawaka residents but for residents in many of the north central Indiana and south central Michigan communities too. Although many of the large industrial users have since closed their doors, many smaller industrial facilities operate in the city’s industrial parks producing a variety of products. The Edison Lakes Corporate Park, located along North Main Street, is the city’s prime office area with several regional and national headquarters located within the corporate park area.
While the City has grown and expanded in the retail, office and industrial sectors, Mishawaka remains a great place to live and recreate. Old fashioned neighborhoods still exist all over the city where neighbors are willing to help each other with yard chores, share desert recipes or offer friendship. Many of the newer residential subdivisions that have been developed within the city in recent years have replicated the community spirit and "hometown" neighborhood feel. Because neighborhoods are such a vital resource to the success of Mishawaka, the city continually upgrades and develops new neighborhood park and recreation facilities
. Presently, a total of 27 parks
allow Mishawaka residents to golf, play ball, fish and exercise or enjoy some local historical attractions like the Battell Park
Band Shelter or the Works Progress Administration Rock Garden.
With a rich history and a strong sense of that history, Mishawaka continues to prepare and grow for the future. New development within the Central Business District and the continual development and support of the city's commercial and industrial sectors guarantees the city’s continued strength and success in the future. Princess Mishawaka was a strong warrior, an energetic athlete and a citizen committed to the betterment of her tribe and it is these characteristics that the city embodies and continues to make the Princess City the "Best Hometown in America."
Population growth, business expansion and record-breaking new construction tell us that people want to live, work, raise their families and retire in Mishawaka. Community pride is an essential part of life in the Princess City. The quality of life that generates this community pride comes from many sources.
2000 Census results reported the official population of Mishawaka at 46,557, an increase of 9.27% over the 1990 population of 42,608. That growth pushed us ahead of Kokomo, making us the 13th largest city in Indiana. In 2004, new construction reached $72.8 million. Unlike many communities, Mishawaka has consistently grown in population, capital investment and assessed value for several years.
But, construction and growth are not all that make a city great. Mishawaka is home to Bethel College
, Bayer Diabetes Care, University Park Mall
, AM General's Hummer Plant, a beautiful system of parks and myriad cultural opportunities.
Mishawaka finds itself in a most fortunate situation. We are home to three High Schools: Marian High School, Mishawaka High School and Penn High School; 18 elementary schools, and 4 middle schools. We also are proud to have Bethel College
here, and to be within a few minutes' drive from Indiana University South Bend, the University of Notre Dame, Saint Mary's College, Holy Cross College, Ivy Tech State College, and numerous other smaller institutions of higher education.
A significant amount of quality development, redevelopment and investment is occurring in Mishawaka residential
, commercial and industrial sectors. Although a significant portion of the new development centers in the "Golden Corridor" (Grape Road and Main Street), there is a distribution of developments in the central and east sides as well.
In 2004, a total of 267,504 square feet of commercial space was approved for construction. Included in that total are a number of chain restaurants
, department stores
Recognizing the opportunities and advantages associated with investing in Mishawaka, we have recently seen Home Depot
, Extended Stay America
, Logan’s Roadhouse
, Max & Erma's
, Panera Bread
, and International House of Pancakes
make significant inverstments in our city.
Edison Lakes Medical Center, located on Day Road between Main Street and Edison Lakes Parkway, underwent major remodeling and expansion just last year. A 1,225 square foot building addition provided more operating rooms for the Ambulatory Surgery Center. The plans were then finalized in 2002 for the construction of a new 23,640 square foot Imaging Center on a 4-acre parcel of land acquired adjacent to the 10-acre site already owned by St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
The success of this medical facility is noteworthy. Mishawaka's prime location in the middle of population centers such as South Bend, Granger, Elkhart, Plymouth, Niles, Edwardsburg and Cassopolis has made it the regional center of retail shopping
, vehicle sales, home improvement stores
, furniture businesses
, and theaters with nearly one million people serving as its customer base within a 50-mile radius.
Edison Lakes Medical Center is in the heart of that hub, close to the Toll Road interchange and surrounded by busy Main Street, SR 23, Fir Road and Day Road. The availability of significant acres of undeveloped land in that area could help add health care providers to that growing list of regional economic activity centers that choose to locate in Mishawaka. Mishawaka stands ready to encourage and promote such development with appropriate annexation, zoning and infrastructure improvements.
Industrial growth is important to promote a diverse and balanced local economy. Industrial jobs have the potential for higher pay when compared to service retail businesses. Industrial development provides a positive impact on our city tax base and it does not require the high maintenance services associated with residential and commercial development.
Despite corporate changes elsewhere, the Bayer Corporation Diagnostics Division appears to be doing very well in Mishawaka. In addition, as part of the closure of its Consumer Care Division in Elkhart, Bayer recently announced that it would be moving 65 Customer Service employees to Edison Lakes Office Park.
Meanwhile, AM General announced plans to demolish its obsolete office building at the Byrkit Avenue Business Center and replace it with a new $2 million facility. The announcement means the creation of new jobs, the retention of existing jobs and stabilization of an older, sometimes less than desirable, manufacturing location.
Eighty percent of new residential units
constructed in the city are commercial. This type of construction is not possible without public water and sanitary sewer service. These services are usually unavailable in unincorporated areas. Other reasons why this growth occurs in Mishawaka are geographic location, tax rate and school systems
. For all these reasons, we anticipate the continuation of commercial residential growth in the city.
The closer we get to development of Mishawaka River Center, the more interest we see in downtown property. Evidence: the opening of the Phoenix Bar & Grill
at the four-corners of Lincolnway and Main Street. Other restaurants have also shown interest in downtown. The city has an excellent reputation for interesting, friendly, quality, eating places such as The Phoenix
, Maury ’s Pub
, Main Street Grille
, Doc Pierce’s
, Papa Joe’s
As you can see, these are exciting times in Mishawaka. Come be a part of the growth.