- Associated Press - Monday, May 15, 2017

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - The long-vacant building that housed the College Football Hall of Fame museum for 17 years in Indiana is now for lease.

The South Bend Tribune (https://bit.ly/2qjOggd ) reports the city of South Bend spent about $18 million to construct the building. It has been largely vacant since the museum closed at the end of 2012, when the Hall of Fame moved to Atlanta following years of low attendance.

The city had initially listed the building for $2.8 million but couldn’t find a buyer. It then issued a request for redevelopment proposals and received ideas including turning the space into a casino, Bible museum, hotel, culinary center or rock climbing gym.

The state gave $400,000 in Regional Cities money to support the rock climbing gym proposal, but the project has languished.

“We’ve had some setbacks with using the Hall of Fame, so we’re re-evaluating our options in order to determine the best path forward” said Michael Dickens of Apex Climbing, the group behind the project.

Newmark Grubb Cressy Commercial recently listed the city-owned building at $5 to $12 per square foot for 5,000 to nearly 51,600 square feet of space. The average price for office space in the area is more than $17 per square foot.

James Mueller, executive director of the city’s Community Investment agency, said the climbing gym is still an option with the new leasing approach. The layout of the building is tricky, but city officials are confident they can find tenants because of the building’s downtown location, Mueller said.

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

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