Another housing project is being proposed for downtown South Bend.
This one calls for the multi-million dollar renovation of an historic 12-story structure.
Built in 1930, the building in question once housed the Hoffman Hotel although it has since been converted into office space (120 W. LaSalle). It’s located in the same block as the Morris Performing Arts Center, and next door to the old LaSalle Hotel.
A Carmel based developer wants to take that space and create 45 to 50 affordable apartments for artists.
“And we’ll have some really neat things in there for the artists, we’ll have a gallery on the first floor for the residents to use, on site management and maintenance, a dark room for photography development, a sound proof music room which will be nice for all the residents who live that are artists or musicians,” said Bill Hollingsworth of Hoffman Apartments Housing Partners. “It’s been done across the country. There’ve been a couple in Indianapolis, Chicago, a lot in New Orleans.”
A tax abatement request for the project goes before the South Bend Common Council at Monday’s meeting. In November, the developer will apply for financing through federal low income housing tax credits at the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority. “A lot of the folks right now are not making a living doing artists, painting or dancing or whatever, they’re bartending or working at Wal-Mart or other things to support themselves while they continue to do their art so this provides for an affordable opportunity for them to live in a space that encourages and provides a space for t hem to pursue their art.
It’s hoped that ground will be broken on the project next summer.