SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The former Madison Center children’s hospital on North Niles Avenue is being transformed by a local developer into co-living apartments.
Dave Matthews, who bought the three-story, 70,000-square-foot building at 701 N. Niles Ave. in December, said that one-bedroom apartments will start to become available for tenants to rent in June. Four businesses, meanwhile, have moved into the ground floor of the building.
The apartments, in former hospital rooms, will feature a dorm-like atmosphere, Matthews said. For about every 10 rooms, there will be a kitchen and other shared-living spaces available for groups of tenants. Units will be separated from each other, however, and each has a bathroom.
Rent for apartments will be $800 per month, he said, which will include all utilities. But tenants will have a chance to knock that down by doing community service. For each hour of volunteerism, they’ll be able to shave $25 from the rent. And in total, they’ll be able to reduce the monthly rent up to $400.
“We’re heavily invested in the neighborhood, and it’s our passion to try to make downtown South Bend awesome,” Matthews said, adding that all types of volunteerism will be encouraged. “We want people to show up and organize a kickball league, do beach volleyball, paint murals on buildings and volunteer for nonprofits in the neighborhood.”
Prospective tenants will have the chance to tour a model apartment in June, Matthews said. He said tours will be handled by a “house mom” who will soon move into the building with her family.
“She’ll be in charge of the culture and will model the place to drum up interest,” said Matthews, who plans to start renovating apartments after a handful of tenants sign leases.
The first phase of the project calls for renovating about 15 apartments on the building’s third floor, Matthews said. If there is enough demand to warrant it, the second phase would call for about 40 more apartments on the second floor.
Matthews said he is hopeful that the apartment building, which also features a 5,000-square-foot basketball gym, will draw tenants from a variety of backgrounds.
“We want this to be a diverse community. Whether you’re young or old, rich or poor, you can feel welcome. And it’s an opportunity to lead by example,” said Matthews, who owns a handful of rental properties in the city.
Tenants in the building are the South Bend Clinic, Forever Young Fitness, Lotus Preschool and Studio and the Crossing Educational Center. The ground floor still has about 14,000 square feet available for commercial tenants, Matthews said.
Source: South Bend Tribune
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