Historic South Bend Building Has New Owner

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The J.C. Lauber building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The J.C. Lauber building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

A historic building in downtown South Bend will soon have new life thanks to new ownership. The J.C. Lauber building, a former sheet metal shop, has been purchased by real estate developer Frank Perri.

Perri said he's always loved the building and decided to buy it after having a chance to look inside and began thinking about what it could become. He said the building's future is still to be determined, but it could become an entertainment venue.

Perri says he hopes to make a presentation to the city by mid-year. "There's no doubt going to be a high level of interest from the city on what we're going to do plus we're going to be changing the use, which requires a whole lot of zoning, code issues. So dependent upon that presentation that we would make, then hopefully we'd get rolling."

Perri said he optimistically hopes to be open in December, but admits that's an aggressive deadline. He said he has already heard from interested parties who have offered opinions or expressed a desire to be considered as operators of the building.

The J.C. Lauber Sheet Metal Company was founded in 1890 and moved into the building on East LaSalle Avenue in 1900, according to the Indiana Historical Society. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.

The South Bend Tribune reports the company ceased operations sometime last year.

Frank Perri says he hopes to make a presentation to the city by mid-year.
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