5-story, $10M office building project moves forward in DTSB

Published: Apr. 26, 2018 at 4:18 PM EDT
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It was announced today that construction is expected to begin in August or September on a new five story office building in downtown South Bend.

The new building will give the city something it hasn’t seen in decades.

“It’s the first new office building in South Bend in over 20 years,” said developer Jeff Smoke with Great Lakes Capital. “You know it’s really tough with the cost of new construction, and with the rents we're able to get down here, it's tough to make that equation work, but with the help from the city and the tax abatement we're able to do that.”

The South Bend Redevelopment Commission today sealed the deal by approving a purchase agreement for the project site at Main and Jefferson.

The lot has been vacant for years and last housed a fast food restaurant.

“Things are going to move forward quickly from here on out, architectural, engineering, those kind of things can start happening and we hope to see shovels in the ground in the fall,” said Dan Buckenmeyer with the South Bend Community Investment Department.

The level of investment will be between $9 and $10 million and by the time the design stage runs its course, the building could end up being six stories tall.

This multi-million dollar vote of confidence in downtown South Bend apparently comes from out of town.

“The investor is an entrepreneur out of the Elkhart area who wanted to move his business downtown. He’ll be occupying the top floor,” said Buckenmeyer. “Says a lot about what our regional developer's, investors, and business people think is happening in South Bend.”

At this point, the city does not plan to play a direct financial role in the project, other than granting a six year tax abatement.