SOUTH BEND — Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s administration will soon look to extend the city limits to the southwest, northwest and northeast, while using one of its favorite economic development tools to improve some distressed neighborhoods.
By the end of the year, the city wants to annex three areas and redraw some tax increment financing district boundaries, bringing new money to the city as a whole, and specifically to parts of the city that haven’t yet enjoyed the revitalization that’s occurred downtown, said James Mueller, executive director of the city’s Department of Community Investment.
By state law, the annexations must be done by the end of the year or wait until 2021 because they cannot occur less than a year before a decennial U.S. Census count (which will come in 2020).
The first proposed annexation is an undeveloped piece of land northeast of the Prairie Avenue (Indiana 23)/St. Joseph Valley Parkway exit, north of Four Winds Casino. The property owner is volunteering to be annexed, hoping the extension of city utilities to the site will facilitate new industrial development there — an objective the city shares, Mueller said.
The second proposal involves three parcels that South Bend Chocolate Co. founder Mark Tarner plans to include in the new production facility/dinosaur museum that he’s building southwest of U.S. 20 and the St. Joseph Valley Parkway, commonly known as the U.S. 31 bypass. The city last year annexed the rest of the site.