Tesla might be opening a showroom and service center in Mishawaka

With an undisclosed “high-end” electric car maker looking to open a showroom and service center in Mishawaka, some nearby residents think all the signs point to one company: Tesla.

The Mishawaka Plan Commission voted 4-3 this week in favor of a proposal by a Chicago-based developer to convert the former JC Penney Home Store, at Grape and Cleveland roads, into a 36,000-square-foot automotive facility.

Chris Sotos, a representative of Key Development Partners, told the commission his company has a contract to buy the site from its local owner and lease it to the auto company.

Sotos did not name the prospective tenant but described it as a “high-end electric automobile, solar power and renewable energy” company.

A rendering of a proposed electric car showroom and service center planned for Mishawaka.

When The Tribune asked whether that tenant would be Tesla, Mishawaka City Planner Ken Prince said the developer had not disclosed that information to the city.

But some aspects of the plan are consistent with the luxury brand founded by multi-billionaire tech mogul Elon Musk.

Nate Hoover, a California native who lives on Timberland Drive, just west of the site, said he looked at renderings of the proposed auto center and immediately recognized it.

Katherine E. Ackerman

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