- Associated Press - Saturday, April 26, 2014

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The new owners of South Bend’s tallest building plan to invest $5.8 million to upgrade the 25-story tower that’s long been a source of complaints by its tenants.

Washington Square Realty of Long Island, N.Y., spells out its plans for the Chase Tower in paperwork seeking a tax abatement as part of the downtown building’s renovation.

It’s seeking a four-year real property tax abatement worth about $30,658 over a period during which the company would pay property taxes estimated at more than $1 million, the South Bend Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1kg64hM ).

The company’s petition states it plans to spend about $5.8 million over the next two years to upgrade the building, which it bought out of foreclosure in March. The officer tower opened in 1971 but has fallen into disrepair.

Washington’s petition states that it plans to modernize the building’s balky elevators, upgrade the plumbing and heating systems, repair the facade and replace the windows.

The Chase Tower fell into receivership in 2011. After Washington Square bought the office tower for $4.5 million, property manager Andrew Nemeth, a real estate broker and consultant with offices in the tower, said the building needs extensive work.

“This will be large-scale effort and Herculean task, but the new ownership is very prepared and committed to the task,” Nemeth said.

The Common Council will consider a resolution related to the company’s request at its meeting Monday. A second confirming resolution could come before the body as soon as May 12.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com