Retail in south bend is making a comeback, in 2005 and 2006 almost a million square feet of retail space was developed in the city.
But now planners are concentrating their efforts to re-vamp four locations, hoping to reach niche markets.
“What’s been the complaint is you’ve covered a lot of the market but I want this or I want that. So now that we’ve created a presence of retail development, we’re trying to get to that next tier, and bring in those other types of stores,” city planner Bill Schalliol says.
But nobody's going to set up shop, unless there’s money to be made.
So the city did a little research to see what stores would fit in where.
The research study targeted four specific areas of south bend that could benefit from retail expansion.
Those for areas include Lombardy and Western, Lincolnway and Bendix, Indiana and Michigan, and Michigan and Jefferson.
People who live work and shop in all these areas have different ideas about what they'd like to see come to town.
John Obenchain works downtown and says, “You put a little retail down here it would make a great balance, bring more people into downtown, and make it just a real nice area.”
“A grocery store would be a great thing on this side of town and also a health food store, or just a place where you can have healthy food available for the children and the people in this area,” Talana Green notes of the Michigan and Indiana area.
Lots of ideas from lots of people, but what the future holds for these four locations will depend on whether retailers buy the city's research.