The mayor of South Bend says the long-awaited $1.2 million sale of the former College Football Hall of Fame will provide a boost to the city's convention and tourism industry. Pete Buttigieg says events have passed South Bend over due to lack of downtown hotel space. JSK Development Inc., based in the city, plans to repurpose the building as a 120-room, five-story hotel and company headquarters. Buttigieg says construction could begin “in a matter of months” and is expected to be complete in early 2017. April 15, 2015

News Release

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Department of Community Investment will present an agreement before South Bend's Redevelopment Commission outlining a proposed $1.2 million sale of the former College Football Hall of Fame to JSK Development, Inc., a hotel development and management company. The City also plans to sell the company the adjoining Jefferson Street Parking Lot for $1.

JSK Development will repurpose the 52,000-square-foot former Hall of Fame as a hotel lobby and its company headquarters. On the parking lot site, JSK Development will build a hotel, using the same brick as the former Hall, with approximately 120 guest rooms and ground-floor retail fronting St. Joseph Street.

“JSK will be a great partner in redeveloping the building and adding to the vibrant atmosphere in downtown South Bend,” says Scott Ford, Executive Director of the Department of Community Investment. “The company's vision for the site addresses the community's desire to utilize the Hall as a magnet for private investment, maintain the gridiron as central public space, and infill another block with sustainable commercial activity.”

The existing gridiron plaza area will remain available to the public 30 times per year with a minimum of 60-day notice from the city to JSK Development. The company is also exploring a retail component for the former Hall’s 5,000-square foot lower level.

“This project will have a great impact on the local hospitality industry,” says Rob DeCleene, Executive Director of Visit South Bend Mishawaka. “A new hotel will be an ideal use for this key downtown property.”

The new five-story hotel is expected to open in spring 2017.

“The Common Council's interest has always been having a tax-paying entity within the former Hall of Fame,” says Tim Scott, South Bend Common Council President. “More hotel rooms will certainly boost tourism and provide more options for visitors.”

“This is another sign of South Bend's ongoing growth in tax base and jobs,” Mayor Pete Buttigieg says. “Putting this important space back to use will take a burden off taxpayers, support further development, and fuel South Bend's continuing comeback.”

Source: The City of South Bend

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