Notre Dame buys historic South Bend Tribune building

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame announced on Tuesday that it has purchased "the historic portion of the former South Bend Tribune property."

The building at 225 W. Colfax Ave. has stood for over a century and was home to the South Bend Tribune until 2019 when the newspaper relocated.

For Notre Dame, the purchase marks a milestone for the university’s newly adopted 10-year strategic framework, which plans for "meaningful investments in science and engineering and further collaborations to advance economic well-being in the South Bend-Elkhart region," according to Assistant Director of Media Relations for Notre Dame Erin Blasko.

That strategic framework, for the first time in the school's history, includes the words "South Bend, Indiana."

"The University of Notre Dame's commitment to the greater South Bend region is as strong as ever, and we're thrilled to advance our shared vision of a thriving community with more opportunities for all,” South Bend Mayor James Mueller said. “This historic investment in the heart of our downtown will accelerate our growth and help us win in the innovation and knowledge-based economy of the future."

The university and the city are both excited to grow the partnerships between them and collaborate to enhance the region.

“Never before has the University been more engaged with key stakeholders throughout the region,” said Executive Vice President of Notre Dame Shannon Cullinan. “With the strength of partnerships at the local and state level, the growth of leading local industries and a shared regional vision, there is tremendous momentum in the community. We hope that a collaborative project in downtown South Bend will create a destination and a catalyst to propel the region’s momentum further, especially via this notable venue.”

The university recently purchased the main building of the property, but in April 2022, South Bend City Church purchased the 40,00-square-foot portion that formally housed the newspaper's printing operations for $1 million.

The church announced on Facebook Tuesday that they are also looking forward to being close neighbors with the university and contributing to the future of downtown South Bend.

"Officials from the university reached out to us a while ago and gave us the chance to learn about their plans as they developed their 10-year strategic framework. While there is still uncertainty as to how the building will be occupied, Notre Dame has been very clear on working together to help South Bend thrive," the church wrote in a Facebook post.

"The promise of these efforts depends on building genuine partnerships with local governments, companies, schools, and other nonprofit organizations. It is now clearer than ever before that for Notre Dame to thrive, the South Bend region must also prosper. And a more prosperous South Bend strengthens Notre Dame. As you know, we’ve been hard at work with our downtown neighbors, including other faith communities, city officials, and business leaders, to understand and contribute to a vision for the neighborhood that serves the common good. We’re grateful for the university’s interest in being a part of those conversations, too.”

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