City leaders announce new Downtown Plan, $1 billion investment

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- On Tuesday, South Bend city leaders announced their plan to make downtown better--roughly a $1 billion times better.

South Bend Mayor James Mueller, along with several community leaders, introduced the Downtown Plan, which will set a vision for the future of downtown South Bend, an investment of $1 billion.

“Downtown really is everyone’s neighborhood,” says Caleb Bauer, Director of Community Investment for the city of South Bend.

Leaders say it will take a city-wide effort to build up downtown south bend to its fullest potential!

Through the new Downtown Plan, they say it will create the framework for how to expand opportunities in the retail space and job market.

“We’re looking at plans to make sure that we are the center of commerce, good jobs, more jobs,” says Mayor James Mueller.

However, bringing more people to downtown means it needs more room to house them.

Another big initiative with the plan is to address the demand for affordable housing, they plan to expand on the already 500 housing units being developed now downtown.

“In the last two years, 15 long vacant buildings are now under local ownership and are being redeveloped,” says Executive Director of DTSB, Willow Wetherall.

A Notre Dame Women’s basketball alumna, now turned real estate developer, says a years-long mission of hers is finally coming to fruition with the announcement of her latest project.

“I’m working on a 66-unit apartment building that will be right around the corner, on the corner of Michigan and Monroe, catty-corner from the post office, and it is mostly low-income housing,” explains Devereaux Peters, a real estate developer. “Fifty units will be low-income, and 16 will be market-rate.”

She says the first floor of the building will have ‘live-work units’, a unit that has both a commercial store front as well as a residential area for entrepreneurs that need the commercial space but can’t afford it.

Peters says the development is a way to give back to the city she called home during her college years, and it couldn’t come at a better time with the new downtown plan.

“What I really wanted to do with this project was to give the community access to downtown through really quality affordable housing,” says Peters.

She hopes to be breaking ground on the complex by next spring!

Vision planning for the Downtown Plan will begin near the start of 2024.

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