Regional Development Projects: Industrial growth in South Bend


Not all of the local land development is retail and residential. In the South Bend area, Great Lakes Capital is making news with industrial growth.

The real estate developer and private equity firm recently signed a lease with Communications Test Design, Inc (CTDI) for a 315,000 square-foot building. This will be the first development north of Adams Road just off I-90 in Phase II of the Portage Prairie Industrial Park.

“This is a prime national distribution and shipping location,” says Jeff Smoke, director of development for Great Lakes Capital. “Logistically, this area is convenient for many regional and national freight companies, due to its proximity to the toll road, U.S. 31, I-94 and several local airports.”

CTDI is a global engineering, repair and logistics company in the communications sector. They’ve had a location in South Bend for more than 28 years, and had outgrown their current location.

“This is a big win for the South Bend area,” says Smoke. “When CTDI outgrew their space, they could have looked elsewhere. But they wanted to stay in the area for several reasons. Together, we worked with them and the city officials to make this a happy move.”

Breaking ground on the 119-acre site occurred in June. The plan is for CTDI to take occupancy in February 2018.

Meanwhile, Great Lakes Capital has already fielded several inquiries and begun marketing the remainder of the site. The company previously built a 210,000 square-foot spec building for the city that is now occupied by American General, builders of the Humvee.

“We have room for an additional 1.3 million square feet of development,” Smoke says. “The close location to major highways, trains and airports makes it very desirable. Manufacturing and transportation are making a big comeback, and South Bend is a focal point.”

Great Lakes Capital is also developing a modern warehouse and distribution center at Ameriplex, located at I-80/90 and only five miles from the South Bend International Airport. The building will be 210,000 square feet and similar in design to the building leased by American General. Smoke says the building can be enhanced with build-to-suit options and flexible demising walls.

“South Bend is a terrific location for these type of businesses,” Smoke says. “Multimodal transportation is on the increase, and South Bend and Great Lakes are positioned to capitalize on the need.”

Click to read more from the Fall 2017 issue of Northwest Indiana Business Quarterly.