About Us


A little background about who we are, tools to bring sustainable community to your neighborhood, and how we’re documenting and assessing our projects.






Located in the middle of the Near Northwest Neighborhood in South Bend, Indiana. Portage Midtown is a sustainable neighborhood infill demonstration project. Our goal is to model the development of a neighborhood based on the triple bottom line of people, planet, and prosperity. One that is ecologically friendly, economically sound, and socially inclusive and responsible.

Our challenge is that we do not own all of the vacant lots and existing structures in our development area. So, we are collaborating with the other residents and businesses, as well as public, private, not-for-profit, and educational institutions. Our approach is to lead by example in a manner that is innoative, inclucsive, incremental, open sourced, transparent, synergistic and replicable.

To do this, we are using a toolbox made up of the system conditions, principles, frameworks, concepts and experiences of simular innitiatives and endeavors.

Sustainable Neighborhood Toolbox

Resources to help you bring sustainable community to your neighborhood.

The Natural Step Sustainability Principles
An easily understood science and systems based approach to sustainability with four principles that everyone can apply to whatever setting they choose, home, business, neighborhood, community, and nation.

Incremental Development Alliance
A not-for-profit Alliance of practitioners who train small developers, help citizens strengthen their own neighborhoods and help city champions get the kind of development their community wants.

New Energy Homes
Provides people and businesses with sustainable, attractive, resilient and affordable building solutions designed to produce as much energy as they use.

Asset Based Community Development
How to the capacity to produce our own well-being by recognizing that every person and every neighborhood has gifts that can be harnessed to make great places.

Missing Middle Housing
A transformative concept that highlights the need for diverse, affordable housing choices in sustainable, walkable neighborhoods.

Strong Towns
Supports thousands of people across the United States and Canada with a radically new way of thinking about how we build communities of prosperity for everyone, from the bottom up.

The Congress for New Urbanism
Provides resources, education, and technical assistance to create socially just, economically robust, environmentally resilient and people centered places.

Blue Zones
Informed and inspired by the world’s longest-lived cultures, helps people to live longer, better, and happier lives by improving their environment through the Power 9.

Just Sustainabilities
Explores how to insure a better quality of life for all, now and into the future, in a just and equitable manner, whilst living within the limits of supporting ecosystems.

Sharing Cites
Showcases how communities, organizations, and local governments are increasingly responding to the most urgent challenges society faces today by reviving a basic human practice, sharing.

Cities for People
In this revolutionary book, Jan Gehl presents his work creating (or recreating) cityscapes on a human scale. He clearly explains the methods and tools he uses to reconfigure unworkable cityscapes into the landscapes he believes they should be: cities for people.

New Energy Homes
The purpose of New Energy Homes is to provide people and businesses with sustainable, attractive, and affordable building solutions through innovative engineering and quality components.

Complete Streets
A program of Smart Growth America to promote policies and practices that balance the needs of different modes of transport to ensure streets are safe for people of all ages and abilities.

Transit Oriented Development
How to create integrated urban places designed to bring people, activities, buildings, and public space together, with easy walking and cycling connection between them and near-excellent transit service to the rest of the city.

Tactical Urbanism
An approach to neighborhood building that uses short-term, low cost, and scalable interventions and policies to catalyze long term change.

Inspires people to collectively reimaging and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community, strengthen the connections between people and the places they share.

Public Art
Public art is a part of our public history, evolving culture, and collective memory.  It reflects and reveals our society and culture and adds meaning to our cities, helping to create and perpetuate a sense of place.

Better Block Foundation
Educates, equips, and empowers communities and their leaders to reshape and reactivate built environments to promote the growth of healthy and vibrant neighborhoods block by block.

Walk Your City Movement
Helps you boost your community’s walkability, linking informational street signs for people with web-based campaign management and data collection to complement traditional approaches to wayfinding.

Minicozzi Mapping
Helps communities make better decisions regarding development by performing “Economic MRI’s” on development strategies.

Edible Landscaping
How to use food-producing plants in the residential and neighborhood landscapes.

Green Alleys
How to ignite economic development through green alleys and alleyway renovation.


How we’re documenting and assessing the outcomes of our projects.

  • Diary/Journaling
  • Blog
  • Storytelling
  • Community charrettes and focus groups
  • Stakeholder Interviews
  • Energy usage
  • Walkability
  • Traffic counts (pedestrian)
  • Tax revenues per s.f. or acre
  • Media coverage
  • Photograpy/Videograpy

Our Team


Dwayne Borkholder
Mike Keen
Corbin Borkholder


Monte Anderson
Greg Kil
Victoria Knight


AJM Construction
Centier Bank
First Federal Savings Bank
Notre Dame Credit Union
Incremental Development Alliance
Lehman & Lehman Inc
D&J Roofing and Construction
South Bend Awesome Fund
Inovateus Solar

Dwayne Borkholder

Dwayne Borkholder is President of Borkholder Buildings and Supply Inc. He earned his BS in Marketing and Management from Indiana University South Bend in 1987.  Under Dwayne’s leadership, Borkholder Buildings has always been on the forefront of innovation and development with a network of more than 50 dealers using its designs and material packages throughout the Midwest.  Borkholder is also founder of New Energy Homes, with the goal to build high performance net zero energy homes and buildings at market rates.  His involvement in international relief efforts have provided multiple opportunities to assist in humanitarian projects using the Borkholder Building technology. 

Mike Keen

Mike Keen is Principle of Thrive Michiana LLC.  He received his PhD in sociology from the University of Notre Dame and spent 30 years as a professor at Indiana University South Bend.  In 2008, Mike founded the IU South Bend Center for a Sustainable Future and led the development of the first B.A. in Sustainability Studies in Indiana.  He was awarded a Sagamore of the Wabash in 2016, the highest recognition that can bestowed upon a citizen of the State of Indiana.  In 2016, Mike established Thrive Michiana to continue his pursuit of sustainability through innovation in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors.  In addition to his neighborhood development activities, Mike is a professional sustainability consultant and trainer.

Corbin Borkholder

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Monte Anderson

Monte Anderson is the President of Options Real Estate, a multi-service real estate company specializing in creating sustainable neighborhoods in southern Dallas and northern Ellis counties in Texas.  In Duncanville, Texas, Monte has been a formal partner with the City to advance economic and real estate development for more than a decade.  With over two dozen projects in the largely one story downtown area, his work reintroduced mixed-use buildings in this first ring suburb for the first time in several decades.  He is lead developer for Tyler Station, an adapter reuse renovation.  He is also one of the co-founders of the Incremental Development Alliance and offers coaching services to other small scale developers.

Greg Kil

Greg Kil is Principal of Kil Architecture and Planning.  He received his Master of Architecture, with a focus on urban design, from the University of Notre Dame School of Architecture .  He has extensive experience with new construction as well as historic preservation, rehabilitation and retrofit.  Kil is a Qualified Historic Architect Professional listed with the Indiana Department of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.  His projects include multifamily housing, new construction, conversions and renovations, park and recreation, commercial, multi-use buildings, single family residential, school rehabilitation, municipal buildings and museums.

Victoria Knight

Victoria Knight is founder of Hard Hats and Heels LLC, a construction and real estate firm. ….