The groundbreaking for a new South Bend housing development is set to take place Friday.
While the apartments will be new to downtown, the LaSalle Hotel building (pictured above behind the old Hoffman Hotel) is a piece of South Bend history. It was built in 1922 at the corner of Michigan Street and LaSalle Avenue but fell on rough times as so many downtown landmarks did over the years. The building has been vacant for over a decade.
The Department of Community Investment is holding the groundbreaking ceremony with Real America Development, LLC, an Indianapolis development company that took over the project from Great Lakes Capital.
Plans call for the nine story LaSalle Hotel building to be renovated into a mixed-use development of apartments and ground-level commercial space. There will be 51 one-bedroom and 16 two-bedrooms apartments available, according to the city. The ground floor and mezzanine level will provide 8,000 square feet of commercial space.
Nearby buildings include the Morris Performing Arts Center to the south and the old twelve story Hoffman Hotel to the west, which is in the process of being converted into apartments for artists.
“We’re very excited to be a part of the South Bend community,” says Ronda Shrewsbury Weybright, president and owner of Real America.
“The fantastic downtown location will be attractive to young professionals, empty nesters, and others who want a place where they can walk to work, restaurants, and entertainment,” Shrewsbury adds.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg is calling the news “an important step in downtown South Bend’s accelerating comeback.”
The city is investing $1.5 million and providing a ten year tax abatement. Real America will invest $7.5 million into the redevelopment project.
Construction is set to begin in May with plans to reopen the building in the spring of 2016.