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Renovations attract companies to old Studebaker plant

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

Even Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was curious about the old Studebaker plant during his visit.

The campus is slowly being transformed into a technology hub, and is coming back to life.

F Cubed is the first company to have moved in to the group of buildings promised to change South Bend.

“This place is not a typical bio tech laboratory or manufacturing site. This is really state of the art star wars type facility. It’s very impressive,” F Cubed VP of Sales and Marketing Bob Williams said.

The group of buildings is currently under construction to fit thousands of employees from different technology companies.

It’s a vision developer Kevin Smith has had for years, made possible by Regional Cities funding.

The two-story buildings are almost complete. 

“We’re systematically putting this very large project back into productive use,” Smith said.

The work space in Building 112 is already at capacity, with Building 113 at 80% capacity, although most of the companies have not yet moved in.

The larger factory building will most likely be turned into a hotel within the next five to 10 years.

Smith says the expected new jobs are part of a growing downtown.

“It’s an ecosystem. We are going to attract high paying really good technology jobs. It’s the jobs of the future,” Smith said.

Smith says showing Zuckerberg around the site Saturday was very humbling.

“I would have never dreamt that I’d get a call that says, ‘can you tour Mark through the facility?’” Smith said.

Smith says several companies are interested in space, and big announcements will be coming soon.

As for Williams, he is ready to have some company in the giant building that means so much to his hometown.

“It’s an unbelievably neat structure, and when this thing is completed it’s going to be a real benefit to the city,” Williams said.

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