Trio's files for bankruptcy, but DTSB says not worried - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Trio's files for bankruptcy, but DTSB says not worried

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A notable restaurant in downtown South Bend has closed its doors. "Trio's" has filed for bankruptcy. But as one business closes, others are opening up.

Debra Voltz-Miller is the attorney for MHM Operations and Realty that was responsible for Trio's. She says, "They hung on for a long time." Known for its live music and great Cajun food, Trio's filed for bankruptcy last month, and officially closed its doors Thursday.

Voltz-Miller wasn't surprised, saying, "They started their business in 2007, right before the economy started tanking." She says she's been dealing with bankruptcies for a long time. "The business bankruptcies that I have seen since 2008 have astounded me."

Voltz-Miller says its a trickle-down effect that closes small businesses because people lose their jobs, or they're pinched because gas prices are going up. They can't afford to keep supporting small businesses.

Downtown South Bend Economic Development Director Aaron Perri says one bankruptcy doesn't have them worried... at all. He says, "While I agree we are coming out of an economic downturn, it's been a great year for Downtown South Bend. We're always disappointed to see a business go. But the good news is there's a couple people interested in the building, and I don't think it will be vacant for very long."

Perri says only four businesses closed last year, including the College Football Hall of Fame. However, 22 new businesses opened, and those four empty businesses that were vacant are now occupied. This created 150 new jobs and brought in $4.5 million worth of investments.

DTSB's next area of focus is residential housing. Perri says, "Housing, housing, housing. That's extremely important to downtown. The more we focus on residential properties, the more appealing the downtown will be for investors. We'll probably see within the next couple years 500 residential units move into the downtown - in as soon as two years, matter of fact."

Perri says the residential properties will dictate what comes into the downtown, like grocery stores and pharmacies, making the future of South Bend a full-service downtown.

 

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