Houses Rise On Hill St.

Author: Margaret Fosmoe

SOUTH BEND — Five new houses are under construction on vacant lots on Hill Street in the city’s northeast neighborhood.

Fronting on a brick-lined street and with a view of the downtown skyline, the new homes are within walking distance of the new St. Joseph High School.

The development in the 600 to 800 blocks of North Hill Street is another cooperative venture by South Bend Heritage Foundation Inc. and the Northeast Neighborhood Revitalization Organization.

The first new residents will move in next spring. A total of 13 new houses are expected to rise in those blocks in three to five years, said Marco Mariani, executive director of South Bend Heritage.

The homes are being built on lots that were left vacant over the years as older deteriorated houses were demolished. A few occupied older homes still dot the three-block stretch.

The new houses are designed for single families, and about half the homes will be reserved for low- to moderate-income residents.

The Hill Street development includes:

~Five houses under construction. Those five are available for sale to individuals or families at or below 120 percent of median income. (For a single individual, that means an income of up to $50,760 a year. For a married couple with one child, that means an income of up to $65,160 a year.)

The architectural styles will be traditional, including American foursquare, craftsman bungalow and Dutch Colonial. Home prices will be about $120,000 and higher.

~Five other lots will be sold at market value to any interested buyers to build their own homes.

~Future development is expected to include three additional houses or home lots available to individuals or families whose income is at or below 80 percent of median income. (For a single individual, that means an income of up to $33,800 a year. For a married couple with one child, that means an income of up to $43,450 a year.)

For more information, contact Stephanie Ball, South Bend Heritage’s director of home ownership, at or (574) 289-1066, ext. 204.

About $900,000 in U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant money came to the project through the city, paying for some of the infrastructure, design and building. The funds were awarded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, commonly known as the stimulus bill.

In this case, the funds were targeted to help spur neighborhood and marketplace development.

“One of the main goals is to encourage single-family home ownership,” said Tim Sexton, president of the NNRO and an associate vice president at the University of Notre Dame.

Such partnerships during the past decade have led to a home building boom in the northeast neighborhood. Many Notre Dame employees have built new family homes on Notre Dame Avenue and nearby streets. And more new houses are rising in the Triangle neighborhood east of Eddy Street, near the Eddy Street Commons development.

The Hill Street project sets a new western edge for the neighborhood’s redevelopment.

The Hill Street blocks are within the city’s northeast side Tax Increment Finance district. Mariani said he’ll ask the city next year if some TIF money can be allocated for Hill Street infrastructure improvements, such as new sidewalks, creating handicapped-accessible curb cuts and removing tree stumps in the tree lawn.

If additional lots become available, the project could be expanded to include the sale of more lots or more new single-family homes, he said. margaretfosmoe
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Staff writer Margaret Fosmoe: 574-235-6329