South Bend Riverfront Project Moves Forward

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The planning will include a focus on Leeper Park in South Bend. The planning will include a focus on Leeper Park in South Bend.

The South Bend Redevelopment Commission has approved a contract to develop a master plan and design for several parks along the city's riverfront. The city says it will collect input from residents and stakeholders over the next several months as part of the planning process.

The goal is to make sure the riverfront parks and trails are protected as nearly $100 million in new development projects are implemented over the next two years. The city says most of the area on which the plans will be focused already require infrastructure updates.

"South Bend has not taken a comprehensive look at its riverfront in more than 80 years," said Aaron Perri, executive director of parks and recreation for South Bend. "The goal is to significantly enhance our riverfront, taking full advantage of its environmental, recreational, and economic potential."

The commission approved the deal with Michigan-based architecture, engineering and planning firm SmithGroupJJR to lead the planning process. The city says the firm was chosen because of its expertise in park and waterfront design and plan for community involvement.

The city will hold a public meeting on the planning process on September 8.

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