Mayor Pete Buttigieg says there's no question the city has to and will help, but that government can't do it alone.
"Because of the eyesores, it doesn't do justice to the thriving, beautiful businesses along Lincolnway," said Consuella Hopkins.
For seven years, Hopkins has run "Consuella's Accounting and Tax Service" at 2217 Lincolnway West.
"It doesn't take much money to cut grass, to manicure lawns, to plant flowers, just some sweat equity," added Hopkins.
More than 100 businesses line the corridor.
But there are also dozens of empty, deteriorating buildings, as well as rundown homes.
"There are some businesses along Lincolnway West, actually some buildings, you would not realize they are existing businesses if you look at them," explained Jerry Niezgodksi with the LaSalle Square Steering Committee.
Hopkins, Niezgodski and other concerned business owners met to jumpstart the Corridor Revitalization Project.
In 1999, a plan to revitalize Lincolnway West was put into motion. The city of South Bend committed more than $500,000 to help fund the project. However, improvements stopped at the intersection of Cushing Street and Lincolnway West, because the funds dried up. That area is dotted with newly renovated buildings, including Gene's Camera Store, Louie's Tux Shop and a new bank.
"It's a high priority. It's a very high priority," said Buttigieg.
Buttigieg says he's committed to partnering with community members to get improvements rolling again.
"We're going to look at what we can do on the city side, some of the assets we have for vacant and abandoned houses," explained Buttigieg. "Maybe looking at where the TIF boundaries are drawn and whether that can be re-imagined."
While the city looks for money, Hopkins is asking property owners along the corridor to do their part.
"Spruce things up a bit. Do your part to make sure that it looks good. Do your part to feel confident and encouraged in our community," Hopkins said. "Because there's a lot of good people on this side of town."
Hopkins is organizing a community clean-up for Saturday, May 18, starting at 8 a.m., to spruce up the corridor from Olive east to Martin Luther King.
The group is also asking the mayor to enforce city codes and ordinances.
They think issuing fines would encourage people to start taking care of their homes and businesses.
It could be as early as this spring that some old, abandoned homes or buildings could be torn down.
"By the time I leave office, it will be very important to me, maybe one of my top three things, to be able to look back and say this corridor really turned around," said Buttigieg.