SOUTH BEND — The city’s common council has granted property tax breaks for two projects aimed at beautifying Lincoln Way West and creating new affordable rental housing there and on its side streets.
The nonprofit Neighborhood Development Associates LLC plans to convert the former South Bend Brewing Association building, 1636 Lincoln Way West, into a 22-unit apartment building with common spaces for residents to use. Anne Mannix, executive director, said the project furthers Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s initiative to spruce up the main corridors entering the city.
“Sometimes people, when they’re bringing important people in from the airport to downtown, they go around (Lincoln Way), so they don’t have to show people Lincoln Way, so we want to have something positive there,” Mannix said. “It’s a beautiful historic building.”
The former brewery, believed to have closed in 1950, has a castle-like appearance, and decorative lighting will spotlight those features, Mannix said. The ground floor houses an antique furniture dealer, in an addition that juts out from the façade, who often displays products on the sidewalk. The renovation would remove the addition.
Filling in the blanks
The other project would entail building single-family rental homes on 14 empty lots where houses were demolished under Buttigieg’s 1,000 Homes in 1,000 Days program. The lots, in an area bounded by Lincoln Way, Olive Street, Elwood Avenue and Allen Street, are on Cleveland and Lawndale avenues, and Brookfield, College, Elmer, Huey, Olive, Van Buren, Johnson and Allen streets.
The homes would be owned cooperatively by South Bend Mutual Homes, which built 24 rental homes on West Washington Street in 2016. Tenants pay rent based on their income, and they must be interviewed and approved by a board whose members are elected by residents. The board also must approve and purchase any needed improvements to the homes, such as new doors.