"Many Mishawaka Avenue businesses are unique, but we need more retail,
more boutiques, more unique merchants that will make people want to
wander the Avenue," she says.
Parking poses a challenge, and some area residents also believe crime
and safety must be addressed to improve the business district.
"The idea is very simple," Schey says about her long-term objective.
"There's a trend to return to an urban lifestyle where people work,
shop and play in the same place where they live. To get there, I will
talk to anyone who will listen to me."
Rob DeCleene, executive director of the South Bend/Mishawaka
Convention and Visitors Bureau, is encouraged by her outlook.
"I think River Park has the potential to be our Broad Ripple - that
area thrives on the northeast side of Indy and River Park has many
similar characteristics," DeCleene says. "Hopefully (it) can become a
vibrant district of locally owned shops, service businesses,
restaurants, galleries, etc. Our communities need such a district and
River Park could be a perfect fit."
Many local residents and business owners shared the sentiment in a
Facebook discussion on Thursday.