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Eddy Street Commons
South Bend, Indiana

Landscape Architecture by The Troyer Group

Raised table intersections are used to slow traffic and highlight pedestrian crossings. Concrete approaches slightly ramp up to integrally colored concrete crosswalks and a Lithotex Pavecrafters decorative stamped concrete intersection. The materials and colors selected complement the streetscape pavers and provide a contrast to the asphalt paving used in the roadway to maximize traffic calming. Norwood lit bollards (Sternberg) enforce roadway edges at the raised-table intersections and light the pedestrian way.

The relationship between the city of South Bend and University of Notre Dame has always been strong. They have constantly supported one another and collaborated to improve the quality of life for residents, students and visitors.

The tradition of Notre Dame and the history of downtown South Bend have continued to have an impact on the growth of the city and its surrounding area. A prime example is South Bend partnering with Kite Realty and Buckingham Companies, with oversight from Notre Dame, to complete a mixed-use urban development called Eddy Street Commons. The total private and public investment is over 200 million dollars.

The consistent theme of site amenities for Eddy Street Commons, decorative pavers (Whitacre-Greer), Knight benches, Urban Renaissance litter receptacles, and signage (all from Forms+Surfaces), began in the early stages of design. Building, wayfinding, and informational have a modern look that reflects South Bend's industrial heritage. The Eddy Street Commons logo is a gear with a lower case "e" to reinforce this theme.

The 25-acre Eddy Street Commons development, immediately south of the University of Notre Dame, includes four mixed-use buildings that yield 90,000 sq. ft. of retail space and 82,000 sq. ft. of office space.Holiday Lights The apartments in these mixed-use buildings, combined with the city home-style residence buildings, condominiums, townhouses and flats, provide over 450 residential units. Also located within Eddy Street Commons are two hotels, a centralized-integrated parking garage and a pocket park.

The streets, garage, and basins are owned by the city of South Bend. The private end of the project is a partnership of four specialized developers led by Kite Realty Group. A team of consultants led by Looney Ricks Kiss (LRK) designed the buildings. The Troyer Group was responsible for the site, utility and landscape design. The Troyer Group also developed the traffic impact study, planned unit development and assisted LRK with the master plan.

With the large number of organizations involved in the project, extensive collaboration was necessary. It was critical to keep all parties constantly informed to maintain the project schedule. Consistent documentation of all meetings, discussions, decisions and approvals helped minimize the amount of design revisions. Use of web file management programs enabled the project team to have constant access to the latest updates of all project documents.

The decorative LED street lighting (Sternberg) provides ample illumination for the streetscape. The Dark Sky-approved cutoffs focus the light directly downward to reduce light pollution. As the columnar street trees mature they will maintain a sense of pedestrian scale and help soften the building facades and hardscapes.

The Streetscape
One of the great design challenges was configuring the intensive streetscape around the web of underground utilities, while maintaining the necessary function and aesthetics on the surface. The streetscape consists of urban streets with decorative paving, amenities, raised table intersections, angled parking, lighting, wayfinding signage, seat walls, planters, street trees and landscape beds. Underground utilities include storm and sanitary sewer, water main, electrical duct bank, plus telephone, cable and fiber-optic lines. Since Eddy Street Commons is surrounded by existing infrastructure, utility connections were required to meet established locations and elevations.

This resulted in certain utilities losing design flexibility, impacting the location of other utilities and streetscape elements.

The theme of the development is a modern feel that reflects the area's industrial history. Building signage, lighting, and amenities were selected to reflect this theme. The logo includes a gear, a tribute to the automotive and industrial history of South Bend.

This 3D-photo simulation shows the design challenges of configuring the streetscape around the web of underground utilities (storm/sanitary sewer, water main, electrical duct bank, plus telephone, cable and fiber-optic lines). Bentley Microstation produced the utilities/streetscape model, which was exported to SketchUp (with Kerkythea plug-in for rendering), then into Photoshop to merge it with the photo and apply finishing touches.

Creating a pedestrian-friendly streetscape that promoted safe and efficient vehicular circulation was of utmost importance. Several traffic-calming measures were used to accomplish this task. Raised tables with curb bump-outs, lighted bollards, and decorative paving provide safe pedestrian conditions at intersections and crossings. Shared narrow roadways with marked bike lanes and parking also help slow traffic. Other design elements that added to the pedestrian-focused atmosphere include wide sidewalks with scoring patterns integral to seating areas, designated public art locations, and infrastructure for hosting public events.

To promote restaurant tenants to locate in Eddy Street Commons, outdoor seating areas were incorporated into the streetscape. Use of planters, seat walls, and low ornamental fencing are used to designate seating areas for each restaurant. The design of the seating areas impact the entire streetscape and roadway design, as there is limited space to work with. Coordination between the city, developer, architect and proposed tenants was necessary to find the best solutions for design of these areas.

The colorful pavers contrast with the concrete to delineate circulation and gathering areas. Etched and epoxy filled concrete medallions contain the Eddy Street Commons logo as a unique decorative streetscape element.

Storm Water Design
To maximize tenant flexibility the grade of the wide pedestrian walkway adjacent to retail store frontage was held constant for each building. To provide adequate drainage, while meeting ADA requirements and the one and a half foot of fall along Eddy Street, a trench drain system was used along the curb line. The cast iron grates running the length of the curb line also added to the industrial theme of the streetscape.

All of the rainwater falling on Eddy Street Commons is collected by a storm sewer system that outlets to this retention basin. The stormwater basin was an opportunity to create an attractive landscape feature. A 35-mil PVC liner lines the basin to retain the water, while the upper levels allowed infiltration until the water reached the overflow channel into an existing ravine.

All of the rainwater on site is collected by a storm sewer system that outlets into a retention basin with an overflow channel to an existing ravine. The basin was incorporated into the "city home" pocket park, and designed to look like a natural feature integrated into the overall development. Fabricated rock cladding is used at the two major storm sewer outlets to give an appearance that the pipe and surrounding slope was cut out of existing Indiana limestone. A waterfall was designed into the fabricated rock at one outlet, so the falling water masks the pipe. A pump recirculates the water from the lower pond to an upper pond with a fountain that is part of the pocket park.

Fabricated rock cladding (Cemrock) at the falls and bridge abutments at the two major storm sewer outlets give an appearance of a stream that has cut a path through native limestone. The waterfall here at the northern outlet masks the pipe outlet of one of two major storm sewers. A pump recirculates the water from the lower pond to the upper pond via Air Pro 2 aerators (Aqua Control) to diffuse oxygen into the pond and deter algae growth. A Continental pedestrian truss bridge (Contech) provides a stream crossing.

Eddy Street Commons has become a hub of activity for residents, students, and visitors to the area. Most of the retail, office, and residential spaces have been leased. The development has given the Notre Dame community a place to live, shop and dine, while creating an inviting entrance to campus. It has truly become a significant part of the South Bend area that everyone can enjoy.

While most of the seating areas are tenant-driven, the streetscape design had to ensure adequate pedestrian circulation. Cast stone veneer seat walls give separation from foot traffic for this restaurant's outdoor dining area, while allowing a view across Angela Boulevard to the Notre Dame campus. Patriot hostas provide a color punch to the predominantly shady streetscape on the north side of the building.

Eddy Street Commons Project Team
Owner: Public areas: city of South Bend; private areas: Kite Realty Group, partnering with the University of Notre Dame
Lead Architect: Looney Ricks Kiss
Project Manager: Scott Van Der Jag
Project Architect: Lucy Park
Civil Engineer/Landscape Architect: The Troyer Group
Project Manager: Christopher Waidner, PE
Landscape Architect: Mike Reese, PLA
Landscape Designer: Nate Bosch
General Contractor: Buckingham Construction
Streetscape General Contractor: Ancon Construction
Landscape Contractor: Fuerbringer Landscaping & Design
Utility Infrastructure General Contractor: HRP Construction
Grading General Contractor: R&R Excavating

The main entrance to Eddy Street Commons invites visitors with decorative paving and landscape beds prominent with feather reed grass to help soften the hardscape. The decorative paving, raised-tabled intersections and curb bump-outs make pedestrian crossing safer. Shared narrow roadways with marked bike lanes and parking also help slow traffic.

This 2011 aerial photograph shows the scale of Eddy Street Commons. The University of Notre Dame lies immediately to the north of Angela Boulevard. To the south of the development is US 23, a major artery to downtown South Bend. Since this photo, additional city homes and condos have been constructed, with other buildings scheduled for construction in the coming years.

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November 20, 2019, 2:20 pm PDT

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