Plans to build a seven story, $7 million apartment building in downtown South Bend suffered a serious setback Wednesday.
The River Race Flats project was to be built on Niles Avenue at Jefferson, by the same developer who built several townhomes along the river.
The problem lies in that the apartment project was designed to be seven stories tall—two stories higher than typically allowed by the local building code.
A request to exceed the height limit was turned down Wednesday afternoon by members of the Area Board of Zoning Appeals.
“We can’t re-apply for six months, so we’ll have to look at other options, I’m not sure what those other options are yet,” said Dave Matthews of River Race Flats. “It’s really disappointing to see the loss of activity in downtown South Bend.
Mary Bundy heads up the Howard Park Neighborhood Association and went before the zoning board to speak in favor of River Race Flats. “I’m very upset with the way this was handled, I mean it was clear that there were a lot of people who were in favor of this,” said Bundy. “The message, I think, is that we’re going to sit with barren land….”
Matthews was ready to start construction this year, but the project is now in limbo while it is re-evaluated.