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City of South Bend moves to acquire former Drewry’s Brewery site

Gemma DiCarlo/WVPE

The City of South Bend is in the process of acquiring the derelict Drewry’s Brewery site on the city’s northwest side. County and city officials announced the move Thursday.

According to county records, the current owner of the Drewry’s site owes over $128,000 in back taxes, penalties and code enforcement violations.


City spokesperson Caleb Bauer said in an email the property has been under continuous code enforcement since February 2019 for demolition debris that hasn’t been cleared. He said there is also an active demolition order for any buildings still standing on the site.


County officials said Thursday they’d given the owner multiple chances to take responsibility for the site, which has long been considered an eyesore and a safety hazard in the neighborhood.


So now, the county is transferring the property’s tax sale certificates to the city. South Bend Mayor James Muller said after it takes ownership, the city wants to remediate and, ultimately, redevelop the site.


“In the near term, just making that a better, safer area – that’s the goal,” he said. “And then longer term, this can be a place where you can see future development. It’s got a great location, a great surrounding neighborhood and can really add to the neighborhood.”


But development is still a ways off – Mueller said cleanup can’t start until the legal transfer is finished, which won’t be until the middle of 2022. 


He said once remediation starts, the city plans to follow through on the active demolition orders, remove the previous demolition debris and address other environmental concerns, such as asbestos.


After that, Mueller said the city will meet with residents and neighborhood leaders to develop plans for the site.


Mueller said the transfer will come before the county commissioners and the board of public works Tuesday, Dec. 21.


Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.


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