Originally posted here.
Photo courtesy of South Bend Tribune
SOUTH BEND — As candidate for the Democratic National Committee the first two months of 2017, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said he came to believe the solutions to the problems facing people, cities and governments will come from the local level, not from national or state sources.
In his State of the City address Tuesday night at Riley High School, the mayor said he was glad to be in the middle of the effort to solve those problems.
For the second consecutive year, the city’s Smart Streets project was highlighted by the mayor.
He acknowledged that the project caused a good deal of disruption over the past year. But he said the “ripping off the Band-Aid” approach ultimately was better than a multi-year project for downtown.
The project to convert one-way, highway-like downtown streets into two-way streets with bike lanes, larger walkways and other improvements is spurring economic growth, he said.
Buttigieg said at least $63 million in private investment has come by way of the Chase Tower project, renovations at the LaSalle Hotel and the JMS Building, facade improvements at Main Street Row and the new hotel that is being built near the former College Football Hall of Fame. He believes these were made possible by the Smart Streets initiative.
In addition, the money coming to the city for work on the former Studebaker structures, the Berlin Flats project, a full-service grocery store for the East Bank and the hydroelectric turbine project that the University of Notre Dame is developing at Seitz Park on the St. Joseph River are signs the downtown is in the middle of a “turnaround decade,” he added.
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