When you think of downtown South Bend, restaurants and shops typically come to mind... Now, you can add homes to that list. It's all part of a study the Department of Community Investment is pushing.
The study would show the viability of downtown living in South Bend. It would cost $38,000 in TIFF funds and take three months. The Department of Community Investment wants to hire a New Jersey consulting firm to take a look at what could be developed in the area. They'll look into how many units downtown could hold, who investors should market the area to, what potential renters would be willing to pay, and what they'd want to live in. Also, If there are any vacant buildings that could be turned into townhomes or apartments. All this information would be compiled in a report online for private investors to look at.
"People maybe at the office maybe nine to five, but if they're coming home into downtown south bend then they're more apt to stay and visit a local restaurant or visit an art gallery so that helps in terms of economic activity," said Scott Ford with the Department of Community Investment.
The Department of Community Investment will ask for permission to go through with the study tomorrow morning at 9:30 during a Redevelopment Commission meeting. If approved, it'll begin immediately. And once it's completed, it'll be put online for private investors. And the commission hopes it'll encourage them to develop in the downtown area.