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Commons to open in fall

Liz O'Donnell | Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The first set of stores and restaurants at the Eddy Street Commons – a major mixed-use development project currently under construction south of Notre Dame’s campus – will be open in time for football season this fall.

Gregory Hakanen, director of Asset Management and Real Estate, said there are already a number of restaurants and stores that are in the process of being installed.

The anchor of the Eddy Street Commons will be a satellite store of the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore, which is run by Follett. The store will be set in the southeast corner of the development and take up approximately 20,000 square feet.

In addition to the bookstore, the development will feature two sit-down restaurants. The first is an Irish-themed restaurant and pub named Kildares, which will be situated on the first floor of the office building planned for the development.

The second restaurant is a seafood restaurant that will be located east of the bookstore.

“These restaurants will be nice, sit-down restaurants with a great atmosphere and friendly pricing,” Hakanen said. “These are places intended for people to go back to on a regular basis.”

For other, quicker food options, Chipotle, a Mexican fast food restaurant and Hot Box Pizza will also occupy the commons.

“Hot Box Pizza will offer a few tables, but it will mainly be a take-out place,” Hakanen said.

Kite Realty Group is the developer who bought and leased all the land for the project. For this reason, they are the ones responsible for the leasing.

Hakanen said the developers are currently talking with a number of other tenants, which include additional restaurants, retailers and soft goods. Among those prospects are a number of local entities.

“They are also talking to a bank and a series of small specialty stores, things like jewelry stores, flower stores and a day spa,” he said. “By the time they’re done I’m quite sure there will be local entities involved.”

Hakanen said the University doesn’t have authority over who the retail space is leased to.

“The developer provided the capital, is doing the work and taking the risk associated with this,” he said. “They have the authority to lease within pretty broad guidelines.”

The only influence Notre Dame had in selection of the retail space occupants was a list of prohibited types of businesses.

“Beyond that list, the developers have the authority to lease it as they need and to make it a viable center,” Hakanen said.

There is also a variety of housing available in the Eddy Street Commons, the first of which are currently available in escrow.

The housing units are called City Homes and will feature three levels of living, Hakanen said.

“The City Homes will be similar to the town homes offered at Irish Crossings, since they were built by the same builder,” Hakanen said.

There are conventional condos that will wrap around the parking lot that will be called Legends Row, he said. These condos are currently for sale.

For shorter-term options, there will be apartments called the Foundry Apartments available for lease beginning this fall. These will be located above three retail buildings in the development.

“The first phase of these apartments will be available this fall, with the next two gradually being offered in 2010,” Hakanen said.

Although the location of Eddy Street Commons is close to campus, Hakanen said he believes the occupants of these living spaces will primarily be professionals.

“These are not marketed to students, they are intended to be for adult occupants,” he said. “It will most likely be a combination of people who work for the University, alumni and other people who work in downtown.”

One final area of the commons that will open for business will have two different types of hotels.

The first hotel that will be available for reservations will be a limited service hotel. Hakanen said they would begin work on the hotel this spring, with a projected opening in summer 2010.

Construction of the full service hotel is currently delayed but will begin immediately once financing can be arranged.