Old buildings are coming to life in South Bend - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Old buildings are coming to life in South Bend

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Old buildings in South Bend are coming back to life.  Whether it's a meat packaging plant or a theater, businesses are working to revitalize downtown facilities and turn them into hot spots for the community.

"It was quite ugly and seemingly in shambles from the outside," says Becky Cressy, but that didn't stop her and her husband Corey from taking on a big project, turning this 1933 meat packaging plant into an event venue.

"It wasn't something we were actively looking for, this is the only place we looked at," Corey.

They grew up in Michiana and say they had trouble finding a reception spot for their wedding 10 years ago. That's what started the idea of what they named "The Brick."

"He brought me down here and then with my kind of design mind, I was like oh my gosh this has so much potential," says Becky.

Now the facility is up and running, ready to host any kind of event and they hope to set an example for others.

"I'm just kinda hoping with more of our generation growing up and staying in the area, we can really take advantage of what we have," says Becky.

They say South Bend has a lot to offer and they want to contribute.

"I really want to see it become a community hub." Andrew Elegante feels the same way. He's the general manager of the new State Theater.

They are also hoping to attract people to downtown South Bend and they're looking to draw a new crowd.

He's still dreaming up all the possibilities, but their grand-re-opening is Thursday, when the State Theater is hosting a professional conference of 400 people.

"We want to help accentuate the diversity of the area so bring in some of those populations we don't really see in downtown, just become a melting pot," says Elegante.

Both entrepreneurs say it's going to take more of them to make downtown South Bend a hot spot.

"Bringing life back into the city, I think helps anywhere, just restoring the pulse and making people more excited about doing things in the area," says Becky.

"I think this is just going to be one of those pieces of creating a healthier downtown," says Elegante.

While it opens for the public Thursday, organizers say the renovation of the theater will happen in phases.  Ignite Michiana is their first event.

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