September 11, 2023
Today, the City of South Bend launched the Vacant Building Credit Enhancement Fund to provide additional financing tools for small-scale developers focused on the rehabilitation of commercial buildings within the city.
“The Vacant Building Credit Enhancement Fund will provide resources to small-scale developers committed to bringing life back to neglected spaces in our community,” said Mayor James Mueller. “This new program builds the City’s strong commitment to rebuilding our neighborhoods block by block.”
Through the program, loans of up to $500,000 can be extended for qualified redevelopments. Preference will be given for projects located on the major corridors within South Bend, but all commercial buildings within the City that meet the program requirements are eligible. To qualify, revitalization projects must meet certain requirements, and loans through this fund must be matched by additional capital, including financing by a traditional lender. If approved, the loan can provide funds of up to 40 percent of the total project costs.
“We’re excited to be able to partner with BDC to help small-scale developers in our area reclaim and reimagine buildings that have been neglected or abandoned,” said Caleb Bauer, Executive Director of Community Investment. “By providing credit enhancement, the City can encourage financial institutions to originate loans that help save and revitalize buildings that otherwise may be heading toward eventual demolition.”
To assist in administering the program, the City has partnered with the Business Development Corporation (BDC), a designated Priority Certified Development Company by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Founded in 1982, the BDC supports entrepreneurs and business owners with the goal of stabilizing and revitalizing local communities.
“The amount of work needed to restore long-neglected buildings creates challenges that many small-scale developers struggle to overcome,” said Beth Wittling, President, and Chief Operating Officer of BDC. “The Neglected Building Enhancement Fund and City’s commitment to supporting incremental development is an incentive for developers to take on tough projects.”
To learn more about the Vacant Building Credit Enhancement Fund, please call 311 or visit southbendin.gov/south-bend-neglected-building-enhancement-fund or bdcloan.com/south-bend-vacant-building-credit-enhancement-fund.