UPDATE: Multiple code violations found at JMS Building

SOUTH BEND, IND. -- South Bend's Director of Code Enforcement says an inspector found several violations inside the historic JMS Building.

Shubhada Kambli says the issues were discovered in multiple areas of the building and a repair letter is being sent to the owner.

Because of the ongoing problems, a tattoo shop that's been open for less than a year on the first floor is already moving out.

Bicycle Art Gallery will transition from its current space to a storefront across the street at 117 N. Main Street over the next few months.

And, the owner says it's because of continual problems.

"We had a lot of number of issues throughout the year with leaks," said Bicycle Art Gallery Owner David Martin. "Not just in our space, but in the hallway we have a shared bathroom that's had leaks off and on all year. The lobby has obviously had leaks all year."

Martin says the issues have led him to take artwork off the walls and move several display cases out of the front of the shop. And, he's often having to explain to customers why some areas of the space are torn up.

"Right now it does not look like a business in here," he said. "And, part of it is we're worried about leaks happening in the same spot. So, we're shifting everything around on the inside to avoid trouble."

Martin had originally planned on investing money into restoring his space in the JMS Building. He wanted to highlight the history and architecture of the building by refurbishing the ornate ceiling tiles that are currently hidden under panels.

But, that money will now go toward transforming his new rental space into a tattoo and piercing shop.

"You never want to have a dream to go a certain place and have it not work out and have to go someplace else," Martin said.

Other tenants say they've had issues too. And, it's not just leaking. One tenant claims they were without heat until recently, causing them to lose out on business. But, the other businesses didn't want to speak on camera to NewsCenter 16 because they're worried about their leases.

A man representing the owner of the JMS Building says all of the issues are minor and expected with older construction. He says the problems haven't impacted any of the businesses' operations and Bicycle Art Gallery is moving because of a parking issue.

But, he declined to go on camera.

The issue has caught the attention of South Bend's common council. Health and Public Safety Chairman Derek Dieter says his committee is looking into the issues at the JMS Building .

Bicycle Art Gallery hopes to keep its current location open while they move so they don't have to close and miss out on business.


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