Developers eyeing historic South Bend office building

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Northern Indiana officials say they’re courting potential developers for a historic five-story office building in downtown South Bend that’s been battered by the elements and vandalism.

The neoclassical Lafayette Building was built in 1901 and features an atrium surrounded on three sides by balconies. It was included on Indiana Landmarks’ 2015 list of the state’s “Most Endangered” properties.

The South Bend Tribune reports that South Bend and St. Joseph County officials are courting two developers interested in saving the long-vacant building from possible demolition.

The county has the authority to take ownership because the building’s owner owes about $2 million in back taxes and penalties. But county economic development director Bill Schalliol says the county first wants to be certain there’s a developer committed to redeveloping the building.