- Associated Press - Saturday, November 26, 2016

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Proposals to redevelop the former College Football Hall of Fame have gone nowhere, as the South Bend building has remained empty for more than two years.

JSK Development announced plans in 2015 to buy the building for a new hotel project, but that idea has been shelved, according to the South Bend Tribune (https://bit.ly/2gfff64).

The development company has yet to take possession of the building more than a year after the city agreed to sell it for $1.2 million. The hotel is under construction next door, but no longer includes the Hall of Fame property.

Dan Boecher, JSK vice president of asset management and development, said Marriott insisted the hotel and amenities be confined to one building for safety reasons. He said JSK still intends to move its corporate offices into the building, just not on the original timeline.

“We are looking at the entire former Hall of Fame building as well as the (hotel) in our minds as one project,” he said. “There’s no chance that deal will fall through on the Hall of Fame from our perspective.”

The project was expected to generate $5.4 million in new tax revenue over nine years and help South Bend’s convention center better compete for business with places such as Evansville and Fort Wayne.

Previous redevelopment proposals included a Bible museum, casino, culinary center and an “experiential marketing” hub, all of which fell through. The latest proposal for the building involves an indoor rock climbing facility.

In the meantime, taxpayers continue to pay for the vacant downtown property.

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

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