SOUTH BEND - One of the biggest players in South Bend's economic turnaround is stepping down. Executive Director of Community Investment Scott Ford's last day will be April 1. The city says Ford's efforts over the last four years have helped the city attract some $450 million in investment and over 2,900 new jobs.

During Ford's tenure, the city's unemployment rate has been cut by more than half and he helped boost partnerships with the University of Notre Dame and Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg says "Scott has been an intellectual architect of our administration’s urban policy, as well as a doer who works with diverse community groups and businesses. His contributions have made tremendous positive impact on South Bend’s economy and quality of life, and we owe him a debt of gratitude as well as congratulations on his successful tenure with the City."

Other accomplishments during Ford's time in the position include South Bend and northern Indiana's inclusion in the $42 million Indiana Regional Cities Initiative, new occupants for the former Chase Tower, the former College Football Hall of Fame, the LaSalle and Hoffman Hotels, One Michiana Center, and Ivy Tower/Building 84.

Ford said "thanks to supportive partners throughout the community, Community Investment has helped restore economic vitality and improve the business climate. It has been a true honor and the opportunity of a lifetime to serve Mayor Pete and the residents of South Bend."

The city says Ford will be joining South Bend-based developer Bradley Co. as executive vice president.