SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The LaSalle hotel has been vacant for nearly 15 years but is now one step closer to reopening its doors to the public as an apartment building. The Redevelopment Commission approved an agreement to help in renovations.
The new developer, Real America, checks in weekly on the location and has a strong background in projects like this. The Redevelopment Commission approved a budget of $1.8 million to help with construction costs of the roof, windows and elevators. While it seems like a hefty investment, it's one that will help the city's future.
"It certainly would have cost the city a considerable amount of money to demolish a building and it's an historic structure," Scott Ford, Department of Community Investment said. "I think the ability to return it onto the tax rolls and introduce new residents downtown, and rehabilitate a jewel in our heritage. I certainly think it's worthwhile."
"The building has sat empty for 15 years so to have it back on the tax rolls is a big win for tax payers," Chris Fielding, Director of Business Development said. "But also to see it really become a thriving landmark in the downtown is huge for the vitality of downtown."
The former developer, Great Lakes Capital out of South Bend, had the initial winning bid but hadn't started work on the actual building in nearly a year.
The apartment building will have 67 units and parking in the lot next door between it and the Morris. There are 90 available parking spots. Construction is expected to begin in April and last 12 to 18 months.