The future of a prominent property in downtown South Bend has again become cloudy. The South Bend Tribune reports the former College Football Hall of Fame has been removed from plans that would’ve made it part of a multi-million dollar hotel project.
A current, but separate proposal from one that had been in motion for more than a year calls for all or part of the former museum to be converted into an indoor rock climbing facility that could be supported by $400,000 from the statewide Regional Cities Initiative. Apex Climbing is proposing a $3.8 million project that is awaiting final approval from the state.
The hall was relocated to Atlanta, Georgia in 2012 and sat unused until last year when South Bend-based JSK Hospitality & Development Co. detailed plans to incorporate the structure into a $14 million hotel. The company intended to use the old hall of fame as commercial space and as its new corporate headquarters.
The publication reports the company has not yet taken possession of the former hall. Re-negotiated plans now involve connecting the hotel to the empty building, not integrating it into the full structure. JSK Vice President of Asset Management Dan Boecher says Marriott has insisted amenities related to the hotel stay in a single structure as a matter of safety. The developer has re-worked its deal with the city, pushing full payment of the old hall property down the road until the hotel is finished. He told the Tribune the company still intends to move in and make the empty property its headquarters, just on a later timeline than initially agreed upon. Boecher said "there’s no chance that deal will fall through on the Hall of Fame from our perspective."