An Indianapolis-based developer has been selected to lead a major transformation of the former Studebaker Corp. factory in South Bend. The Paul Kite Co.'s development arm, Strongbox Commercial, will partner with Union Station Technology Center to turn the historic manufacturing corridor into a hub for business, research, data and residential development. USTC founder Kevin Smith is the Renaissance District's visionary. His company will be one of the primary anchors of the initial development phase. USTC bills itself as northern Indiana's largest data center and the largest carrier hotel in the state. Smith believes the Renaissance District, which will boast a projected 1 million square-feet of available space when complete, will be poised to attract regional and even global interest.

Paul Kite Co. has several high-profile projects in its portfolio, including the Comlux America hangar near Indianapolis International Airport and redevelopment of a key section of property along Mass Ave in Indianapolis.

Last month, Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture unveiled renderings of the Renaissance District project where the iconic Hoosier automaker was once located. USTC says it will “enable a new wave of data and technology companies to thrive in South Bend.” The project has drawn inspiration for other tech-driven efforts in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Durham, North Carolina.

In an interview last month with Inside INdiana Business, Smith said if all stages of planning pan out, investment in the project could total “hundreds of millions of dollars.

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