Tuesday was a big day for downtown South Bend redevelopment.
Two new housing developments got the green light this afternoon and construction will begin this fall.
One developer will build townhomes on Niles Avenue across from the Emporium, the other will convert the old LaSalle Hotel into apartments.
Developers are confident the new housing will revitalize the city.
"I’ve seen the city decline and things getting less and less attractive downtown and it's great we're starting to see a reversal,” said Bonnie Bonne-Wong from South Bend.
A step in the right direction for downtown South Bend.
The city will soon welcome nearly 75 new homes.
"We need more people for South Bend to feel like it's alive again and thriving," said David Matthews.
Matthews, a South Bend developer, is one step closer to making that happen.
The city sold Matthews a piece of land on East Niles Avenue for $10.
He plans to build 10 new Townhomes on that land, right next to the Emporium.
"I think having people actually living there will bring in more shops and more restaurants and more things for people to do,” Boone-Wong said. “I think it's wonderful."
Matthews couldn't agree more.
In fact he's the developer of the East Bank Townhomes on Colfax.
Matthews’ mission is to create an urban-style living experience in South Bend; hoping business will follow people to the city.
And the developers who bought the old LaSalle Hotel for $5000 dollars agree.
“The next generation of entrepreneurs really are looking for a place where they can live work and play all in the downtown and downtown South Bend has tremendous employment aspects," said Joe Agostinelli from Mavon Properties.
Mavcon Properties, a Kalamazoo development company, is confident its 45-65 new apartments will attract more activity to the downtown area.
Agostinelli said with the hospital and the University of Notre Dame, their units will sell fast.
"There’s a need for more housing that would cater to the talent that would work at those companies," Agostinelli said.
Both developers believe more people living downtown equals more new business and that's one reason the South Bend Redevelopment Commission gave them the approval.
Mavcon Properties said it will take 15-20 million dollars to redevelop the old LaSalle Hotel site.
Work on that building may not start for another 2 years.
Construction on The River Race Townhomes on East Niles Avenue begins this fall.