When Henry, Clem, John, Peter, and Jacob Studebaker started their Studebaker Corporation in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, here in South Bend, would they ever have envisioned a technology park being built in the very area that produced wagons and eventually automobiles? Why not? They were, in every sense of the word entrepreneurs, pioneers, and dynamic industrious business leaders of their time. What we have seen is exactly just that; what has transpired is a technology park, called Ignition Park, that will help transform, energize, and ignite this community in the very area, very spot, and very way that the Studebaker's impacted South Bend, over 100 years ago.
Catalyst One and Catalyst Two are two spec(ulative) buildings, were designed by and being built by Majority Builders and will sit on the same piece of land where the last Studebaker buildings that were last standing. This is joint, private/ public partnership with Great Lakes Capital and the City of South Bend. These buildings will be a major part of a business/ technology park that will also feature a state-of-the-art General Electric Turbine testing facility (also being constructed by Majority Builders) that is a joint partnership with the University of Notre Dame and the city of South Bend. These new building are the epitome of progress, technology, hope and transformation. Both of the spec. buildings will be completely occupied and feature businesses that inspire change, hip and cool technology. The buildings are slated to be completed in the spring of 2016 and will help shape the city of South Bend, into a city that is inviting to a new form of technology.
As we drive by Ignition Park, heading south of town in South Bend, we can visualize the transformation right in front of our eyes. Cities all across the country, and specifically the rust belt, have looked for new ways to help re-create themselves into a technology based economy. Older manufacturing based cities have re-invented themselves by re-using older buildings or older pieces of land that once occupied what is now defunct or obsolete manufacturing, and changing them into new technology spaces that help re-define a city. Catalyst One and Two are another example of helping a community to transform itself to a “COOL” city. Certainly one even the Studebaker Brothers could have appreciated.