Owner of state theater building ordered to pay fines

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The owners of the historical State Theater building were ordered to pay fines in a code enforcement hearing Thursday afternoon due to continued neglect of the property. Toscana Group LLC were assessed a $10,000 civil penalty fine by the city due to the long time maintenance problems.

While the property owners have promised to revitalize the buildings problems like crumbling brick and water damage those promises remain unmet.

“We talk about revitalization of the city but how does that happen when the city basically doesn’t seem to hold any of these absentee owners hold their feet to the fire," said South Bend Resident, Jeffery Antkowiak.

Long time tenant South Bend Brew Works loved their location with the iconic marquee, but knew they not only grew out of the space - the relationship with their landlord was not worth the fight.

“I want to brew beer again. I don’t want to deal with code enforcement hearings and derelict landlords. That’s not why I got into this to do," said Owner, Steve Lowe.

The leaky roof caused standing water to accumulate on the first floor of the building in February - forcing the brewery to close before finally being forcibly evicted.

“I’m just glad to be done and out of the building and I just hope that these actions today will help to you know do something for the building so that repairs can happen a new owner can be found or something," said Lowe.

A representative from property owner Toscana Group was not present at the code hearing, but was still issued fines by the city that some residents think just isn’t enough.

“They just sit by. They give levy fines that are ignored. They send correspondence that’s ignored and it’s frustrating and it’s disheartening what this city fails to realize," said Antkowiak.

In addition to the fines the judge has issued an order for continuous code enforcement of the building.

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