South Bend looking to redevelop old Claeys Candy factory

NOW: South Bend looking to redevelop old Claeys Candy factory

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The City of South Bend is looking for a new use for a sweet piece of west side history.

Claeys Candy has been making candy for over 100 years and moved from its Taylor Street location last fall to help expand its business.

The city acquired the former candy factory earlier this year and is now looking for a buyer.

Claeys Candy moved to a new building in Blackthorn Industrial Park.

Now the city anticipates someone coming forward with an idea to buy the old building to continue the growth of South Bend.  

Lots of new developments are going on near Four Winds Field, with an upcoming $50 million expansion to the stadium along with the new Diamond View Apartments and stadium flats.

The city purchased the former Claeys Candy factory for around $450,000.

And now the South Bend Redevelopment Commission is requesting proposals from developers.

Common Councilman Troy Warner, who is also on the Redevelopment Commission feels that the location of the building is attractive real estate and it's attracting a lot of interest.    

"The ballpark draws 300 to 400,000 a year to that area," said Warner. “It's right across from the park. There is potential for a brewery, a pub, or a restaurant."

The building is listed for the average of two appraisals, the minimum price being $382,000.

If the city doesn't get any bids after a 30-day waiting period, officials can begin negotiating and having discussions with any interested party.

Joseph Molnar, Property Development Manager for the City of South Bend, says they're open to all possibilities for the building, saying it's attracting a lot of buzz due to its history and its location so close to Four Winds Field.

"Four Winds is a special place, we know it's one of the best minor league ball parks in the city and being right next to it would be a huge plus for most developments," said Molnar.

The bids are due May 9.

ABC57 did speak with officials at Four Winds Field, and they say they do not have plans to buy it but are excited for the opportunity to have new neighbors and to bring more development to the area.

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