New Apartment Complex in Mishawaka Reflects New American Dream

By+Jenna Guerin

What was once referred to as the “American Dream” for the baby boomer generation is now quickly becoming the end of an era, due in large part, to millennials, and the very same baby boomers whose kids have grown up and emptied the nest. Once upon a time, the all-American dream consisted of owning an automobile and a home out in the suburbs. That dream of home ownership in the suburbs is dramatically shifting as the baby boomer generation gives way to the next generation. In fact, as the generation transitions, research and statistics indicate that living trends are also transitioning putting emphasis back on urban living.

It’s a trend that Scott Sivan, managing partner of Barak River Rock LLC is capitalizing on. Barak River Rock is the company developing an apartment complex in the heart of Mishawaka, Indiana. The complex is called River Rock and it will offer people a flexible living option that meets the growing desire to experience a dynamic living culture in a downtown environment.


Living Arrangement vs. Lifestyle Arrangement

River Rock is a $15 million project that is set to for completion June 1, 2016. The complex is divided into two buildings: a five-story building facing Mishawaka Avenue and a four-story building facing Grove Street. Sivan’s intent was to create a culture within the confines of his apartments. That sentiment is reflected in the series of amenities that River Rock offers including a fitness room, a business center, an elevated courtyard and eventual storefronts on the first level. It is, as described on the River Rock website, a community within the city. It echoes the notion that people are no longer just looking for somewhere to live; they’re looking for somewhere to have a life.

Sivan was initially drawn to Mishawaka and the project site because of the bustling St. Joseph River Walk and the close proximity to shopping, parks, business districts, and medical facilities. He feels that the potential of downtown Mishawaka has been overlooked and hopes to showcase the area accordingly. “For any small or large town to develop, there needs to be a residential life downtown. River Rock is just the first in a series of other projects, including more of our own, to turn downtown Mishawaka into a lively place to live, work, entertain and shop,” says Sivan.

In turn, he hopes to attract more and more people to experience and appreciate the natural beauty and hospitality of the area which will ultimately, increase economic growth for both the city and nearby businesses.


A Different American Dream

River Rock has been quick to jump on the urban movement that was long ago predicted by Leigh Gallagher, author of The End of the Suburbs. Gallagher points out that when people moved to the suburbs, they moved further from their jobs and into communities that weren’t quite ready to meet their needs. The suburban growth has very much been correlated with the rise of the automobile empire. When Americans could actually afford to buy cars after the second World War, suddenly, getting from one place to another wasn’t an obstacle anymore. Pair that with an affordable housing market and stable economy, and people couldn’t wait to spread out in pursuit of privacy, their own piece of land, and what was dubbed, “The American Dream.” In other words, people wanted to live in the suburbs, but work, shop and be entertained in the city.

However, as we welcome the millennial era, the focus tends to be on finding a place to live that is close to amenities and necessities—preferably within walking or bicycling distance. In essence, the appeal of living in the city is that all of the residents’ needs are met within a few blocks’ radius. And when it comes to apartment living versus owning a home, the trend seems to point toward downsizing, de-cluttering, and finding ease in picking up and moving on or traveling—something that is much more difficult to do when you own a home. Millennials are essentially, minimalists. And of course, statistics reveal that this generation is waiting to get married and to start a family, so the need for more space isn’t really relevant. Not to mention, there are many others who as they approach older age, simply want to downsize and live close to convenience. This mentality fits perfectly into an up-and-coming apartment that offers modern living.


Modern Design that Reflects Modern Living

With that in mind, River Rock has designed 73 one to three bedroom apartments. Many of these apartments offer beautiful views of the St. Joseph River. The contemporary exterior architecture translates into the modern interior design as well. All living spaces feature large windows and patio doors welcoming lots of natural light.

Although some feared that the price of a luxurious and stylish apartment complex would be too pricey, Sivan says this isn’t the case. “River Rock is the best value for the dollar you can find in the county. The quality of apartment spaces and the building complex are comparable to any big city project at local prices. In fact, we’ve had many inquiries, and the general question is more about the opening date than it is about price. We’ve already had numerous tenants who have agreed to lease apartments, which is a sign that price isn’t an issue,” says Sivan.

The River Rock project has drawn a great deal of interest to downtown Mishawaka and Sivan hopes that the area will experience similar revitalization in business growth. With the amount of committed tenants and interest, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that this urban trend is not an urban myth. For more information about the River Rock apartments, visit