Renovation to begin on Studebaker factory in South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — An entrepreneur wants to turn the long-shuttered Studebaker assembly plant into a mixed-use building that will house high-technology businesses, manufacturing, offices and condominiums.

Kevin Smith says he plans to move some of his own businesses into the 92-year-old building and an adjacent pair of structures.

The estimated cost is about $150 million, and the largest of the buildings would be paid for through state and local money as well as private funding.

A $4.3 million project paid for by the city to rid the buildings of asbestos, PCBs and lead paint was completed in September.

Smith says he believes it will help revive the southern edge of downtown.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg says the renovation symbolizes what South Bend has been through since Studebaker closed in 1963, leaving 25,000 unemployed.

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