Developers are pitching a $7.6 million project in South Bend that would turn a nearly-vacant building into apartments and retail space. Great Lakes Capital Development and Earth Designs Real Estate LLC are seeking tax abatement from the city on a major renovation of the historic JMS Building in downtown South Bend. City filings show the tax abatement would add up to nearly $630,000 over the course of 10 years.

The eight-story building was constructed in 1909 by former Studebaker Corp. President John Studebaker. The South Bend Tribune reports plans call for up to 68 apartments. Renovations would also be made to the retail space on the lower levels of the historic structure. Construction could begin by the end of the summer.

The building has primarily been used as office space. City documents suggest the building is only $25 percent occupied.

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