Construction Begins on New Ignition Park Office Buildings

Ignition Building_CatTwo

Great Lakes Capital is set to break ground this morning on two new office buildings at Ignition Park near downtown South Bend. The buildings will serve multiple tenants, one of which will be the new Notre Dame Turbomachinery Facility.

Great Lakes Capital has committed a minimum guaranteed investment of $12 million for 86,000 square feet of space across the two buildings, according to the mayor’s office. Construction is expected to be complete in March 2015 with the Turbomachinery Facility fully operational in July 2016.

“It’s a great time to invest in South Bend’s future,” says Brad Toothaker, managing partner of Great Lakes Capital. “This project enables South Bend, the University of Notre Dame, and other businesses to expand their reach in the fields of research and development.”

As we reported back in June, the $36 million Turbomachinery Research Facility will occupy half of one of the new 43,000-square-foot buildings. The facility is expected to employ 60 people with an average compensation package of around $80,000 per year.

The goal of the new Turbomachinery Research Facility is to be the “nation’s foremost research and test facility for advancing the technology used in the massive gas turbine engines used by commercial and military aircraft, power plants and the oil and gas industry.” It is a partnership between Notre Dame and General Electric.

The Turbomachinery Facility will be the second major tenant at Ignition Park. Data Realty invested $15 million into a new Tier III data center at the site in 2012.

Data Realty began at Notre Dame’s Innovation Park, an incubation site for start-up businesses. Once those businesses have matured, the goal is for them to expand into Ignition Park.

Ignition Park stands on the ground of former derelict Studebaker factories, which have since been torn down in an attempt at revitalizing an area at the heart of the city’s once bustling industrial sector.

The pair of buildings are part of the second phase of the high-tech campus that will go up at Ignition Park.

“With this campus we’re creating an innovation community that enhances knowledge sharing among companies, which helps them all grow and improves the quality of life,” says Scott Ford, Executive Director of Community Investment. “The investment flowing into this cutting-edge environment brings good jobs and fuels economic development.”

“Ignition Park’s development is in keeping with the original vision to develop a premier regional address for high-tech businesses involved in flourishing industries,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg added. “The latest growth reinforces Ignition Park’s place as a hub for the new economy, and more importantly, brings with it dozens of high-paying jobs.”

The city of South Bend has spent at least $50 million to date in order to clear the land at Ignition Park and make necessary infrastructure improvements. The site covers 84 acres of city-owned land, offering a potential for more than 3 million square feet of space.

In all, Ignition Park encompasses 84 acres of city-owned land on the grounds of the former Studebaker plant, offering more than three million square feet of space.


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