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City asked to make exception for proposed new building

Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 5:43 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Call it a fear of heights.

The debate is on in South Bend as an ambitious developer looks to push a proposed project to the limits and beyond.

The South Bend zoning code only allows structures higher than three stories/ 40-feet to be built downtown.

However, the city is being asked to make an exception for a proposed five story, 61-foot building east of Notre Dame.

The ground floor would have a restaurant that would be open to the public. The restaurant would offer rooftop seating with a view of campus.

Three floors would house 27 residential units that would be marketed to Notre Dame alums who would not likely be permanent residents.

The site is an odd shaped lot off South Bend Avenue that last housed the modest single story watering hole known as Mulligan’s Bar and Grill.

“It’s not making any sense that this tiny little property is going to house this massive monster,’ said Jamison Condominiums Property Manager Sharon Scott at a public hearing on the proposal earlier this month.

Much of the opposition at the hearing came from Jamison condo owners. “There is a concern that if the five-story project goes through as requested from the variance, that you know what sort of precedent does that set for some of the surrounding area where future construction could and likely would occur,” said Jamison Condominium Association President Todd Stroup from his home in Georgia.

The proposed project is in the district of councilman Troy Warner who says he supports it and expects more of the same in the future as “developers look to leverage the proximity to campus, the high traffic volume, and replace aging buildings.”

At the former site of the aging Mulligan’s building there appeared to be compromise in the air.

“We’ve had our first discussion with the proposed, the proposed project architect and developer earlier this week and we’ll be having future discussions and we’re optimistic that we’ll reach a mutually agreeable solution,” said Todd Stroup.

The project is scheduled to go before the South Bend Board of Zoning Appels at Monday’s meeting.

Warner says the BZA will make the final decision on the variance request.

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