By Associated Press - Thursday, May 21, 2015

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - A South Bend real-estate firm is looking to buy and renovate the JMS Building, an eight-story building that has stood in the city for more than a century.

Great Lakes Capital hopes to turn the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, into office and residential spaces. The move comes as two nearby hotels, the Hoffman Hotel and LaSalle Hotel, also are being converted to apartments.

A ten-year tax-abatement application that the company submitted to the city last week shows the firm is under contract to buy the building for $2.4 million. The firm also plans to spend $7.6 million to renovate it.

The South Bend Common Council’s Community Investment Committee is to discuss the tax abatement request Tuesday.

“Beyond the historical significance, restoration of the JMS Building will add a great deal of notoriety and affirmation to the evolving redevelopment efforts in downtown South Bend,” the firm said in the application. “As such, this renewal effort will serve as a cornerstone project, significantly contributing to the vitality of the downtown core area.”

Gavin Ferlic of the South Bend Common Council said repurposing the building for residential and retail use “and seeing this amount of investment go into it and go into our downtown is just exciting.”

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