Council, investors finalizing plans to bring apartments to Liberty Tower

Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 7:10 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - From day one, the plan was to convert South Bend’s tallest building from an office building with a hotel, into an apartment building with a hotel.

Now, some nine years later, it looks like that will happen.

The New York-based owners of the 25-story Liberty Tower want to invest $14.7 million in phase three of their plans to rescue and renovate the building.

The owners are seeking help in the form of an eight-year city property tax abatement.

“It is the tallest building in South Bend. It’s 25 stories. You might recall as you go past roughly 10 years ago that this building was not something that the city could be proud of,” economic development specialist Erik Gavich told city council members this afternoon. “And starting in 2014, the current owner began a rehabilitation of the building. As you can see on your screen and as you drive by it, it’s a wonderful building. It’s beautiful on the outside. If you’ve been inside either the hotel, the Aloft Hotel, or in the space at the lobby, you know…’ll recognize that there has been significant investment over the past eight or so years. In fact, the developer has invested over $40 million to date in this building.”

“This is the final of the three phases that the building is hoping to complete,” said Rachel Tomas Morgan, with the South Bend Common Council. “This abatement supports taxes for 90 apartments.”

A council committee recommended approval of the tax abatement. An official vote on the tax abatement will come at the next council meeting on April 10.