Hibberd building in South Bend to transform into apartments and retail shops

By Jessie Schultz | WSBT 22

Originally posted here

Investment just keeps coming in for downtown South Bend. New apartments are going up in the Hibberd building.

The three-story building at Western and Main Street has been in South Bend for years. It was built in 1926.

It's housed everything from a computer store to a printing company. Now, it's just used for storage.

At first glance the Hibberd building looks rough, but developer Mark Neal says it's actually a diamond in the rough.

"South Bend was known for so many beautiful buildings this was one that has remained. To bring this back to life, to re-imagine this building, as a mixed-use development, right in the heart of downtown, just was an exciting opportunity for us,” said Neal.

Hibberd Development is investing $5-million to make this run-down building into a retail and shopping space on the ground level. 14 apartments will go on the top two levels.

"It's a combination of both demolition, which really takes the building back down to its cement and steel, and then complete revitalization,” said Neal.

Community members told WSBT 22 that they were excited to see investment in downtown.

"The more buildings we can keep without having to start from scratch the better for us and our economy,” said community member, Nicola Rodriguez.

It's just one of many developments happening in downtown.

"As far as renovating things, why wouldn't you? There's jobs involved, more money into the city, and nicer places for people to live,” said community member, Denis Lynch.

Neal hopes to attract people under 30 and over 50.

"We are confident that people will continue to move downtown. We've seen that move already with some of the building that have come online whether it's the LaSalle Hotel Apartments or the Studebaker Loft Apartments,” Neal said.

The city provided a $400,000 tax abatement to the developers. It's also providing $350,000 financing. That money is to re-purpose the plaza.

"Downtown South Bend used to be kind of a ghost town there wasn't really anything going on,” Rodriguez said.

Although looking around now, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.

Neal hopes that this project will be a small part of the revitalization of downtown.

“What a great way to add back to our community by bringing this old building back to life,” said Neal.

The apartments should range from $1,000 to $1,500.

The sizes range from studios to two bedrooms.

Neal says construction should begin in June. He hopes to have the entire project done by April.

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