A rendering of the fourplex to be build on Cushing Street in South Bend near the Near Northwest Neighborhood Center. City officials said the multi-family residential complex may be the first such home approved in up to a century. Staff image by Jordan Smith
A rendering of the fourplex to be build on Cushing Street in South Bend near the Near Northwest Neighborhood Center. City officials said the multi-family residential complex may be the first such home approved in up to a century. Staff image by Jordan Smith
SOUTH BEND -- A fourplex apartment building to be finished by next fall in the Near Northwest neighborhood is the first of its kind to be approved in South Bend in decades, city leaders say. It's one type of "missing middle housing" promoted by the city that could be key to neighborhood revitalization that makes space for lower-income tenants.

With development led by the Near Northwest Neighborhood Association, the nearly $713,000 fourplex at 821 Cushing Street is one of the first fourplexes permitted in the city for up to a century, Acting Director of Community Investment Caleb Bauer said.

City planners told The Tribune that for decades, restrictive zoning laws had made small-scale multi-family housing difficult or impossible to build. City leaders used to favor large apartment complexes in a small portion of South Bend, primarily downtown or on the city's outskirts, over small-scale developments in neighborhoods.

The Cushing complex will feature four two-bedroom, 900-square-foot units and rent below market rate at roughly $900 a month to individuals or families who fall below certain regional income thresholds ? $43,700 for one person and $62,400 for a family of four, according to 2022 guidelines. About 60% of the money will come from a federal Community Development Block Grant administered by the city.

The fourplex is the first of several multi-family homes proposed for the Portage Avenue corridor in a 2019 neighborhood plan.

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