The city of South Bend is seeking ideas for a historic downtown building. The city has issued a Request for Proposals to find a developer that could purchase and rehabilitate, adaptively reuse and manage the Lafayette Building, located inside two National Register Historic Districts in South Bend.
Originally called the Dean Building, it is the first commercial office building constructed in South Bend. It was originally built as a two-story structure in 1901, with three additional stories being added just a few years later.
The building was designated as a Local Historical Landmark in 2000. The city acquired the building in 2018 and has invested approximately $750,000 to stabilize and improve the property with a full roof replacement, roof drain replacement, skylight repair and replacement, and exterior brick rehabilitation.
“The City took proactive steps to stabilize and preserve this historic building and to steer it away from the path towards eventual demolition,” South Bend Department of Community Investment Acting Executive Director Caleb Bauer said in written remarks. “Now we’re excited for a developer to write the building’s next chapter and we’re optimistic about receiving competitive proposals for its revival and transformation.”
The five-story building includes about 37,000 square feet of space and features an interior atrium surrounded by balconies on three sides. The city calls the building “an excellent example of turn of the century Neo-Classical style.”
The city says it is open to creative and adaptive reuse proposals that contain a mix of uses for the building such as market rate residential, as well as office, retail or commercial use including a boutique hotel.
A pre-submittal tour of the building is scheduled for Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is open to the public. All bids from the RFP are due by 9 a.m. on Jan. 26, 2023.
You can view the full RFP by clicking here.