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Fat Daddy's approved for demolition

SOUTH BEND, Ind. The plans to save the old Fat Daddy’s building in South Bend have come to an end. Tuesday plans for demolition were approved. The former surplus store sat vacant for almost a decade. After a potential developer wasn’t awarded tax credits through the state – the final efforts to save the historic building fell through.

Navy Veteran Charles Johnson has lived in the area for 17 years; he says he’s a military enthusiast and his collections grew because of Fat Daddy’s. “They had an extensive collection of things. And what I needed, they always had it,” he explained.

Now, bid specifications for demolition contracts are being drafted. Director of Planning Tim Corcoran says it’s unfortunate, but the building has been deemed unsafe, “we’re at a point that we have to take the buildings down.” As of now there are no plans for future development for the city-owned property. The city will look to other partners who want to see the sight develop. “Probably the best, highest and best use for this site is for mixed use development, so this would be ground floor retail of some kind or office,” said Corcoran.

As a collector, Johnson enjoyed frequenting Fat Daddy’s. “It’s certainly missed by me because I like browsing, and I knew the staff really well over there. They’d let me browse even if I didn’t buy anything,” he said.

The city says it will preserve critical elements of the architecture from the 1920s building for future projects. “In the future we may see some of that building come back to life,” said Corcoran.

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