South Bend seeing affordable housing boom

NOW: South Bend seeing affordable housing boom

Owners behind a new South Bend apartment complex under development believe the city's current affordable housing boom may be key in attracting the next generation of entrepreneurs.

According to the City of South Bend, ten affordable housing projects finished or under development since 2019 will collectively add 353 affordable housing units. "Affordable", meaning the rent is capped based on the area median income.

On Monday, the South Bend Common Council approved an 8-year tax abatement for the most recent project to set aside affordable units, planned for 536 S Main St. Developers are renovating a vacant, burned-out property into a functioning 12-unit apartment complex which will include three affordable units.

Rendering of 536 S Main St., once finished

Mark Neal, a partner in the S Main St project, says the long-term plans include a neighboring entrepreneurial hub and co-working space.

"We are particularly focused on entrepreneurs. People who are looking to start a business or pursue an idea," Neal said. "We recognize often [new entrepreneur's] income levels are lower. So, what can we do is offer a great space in downtown while they're pursuing their passion for being entrepreneurs."

Developers expect to start construction on the Main St site in the next 90 days and have it finished by the end of the year.

When including market-rate units, the ten affordable housing projects will add 710 total units to South Bend, according to the city.

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