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Group renovating Ward Bakery building receives loan to keep cleanup going

Jakob Lazzaro
88.1 WVPE

The ongoing project to refurbish the old Ward Bakery building on the northwest side of South Bend hit a new milestone this week with the announcement that more funding is incoming for the renovations.

Led by local developer Mike Keen, the Bakery Group LLC purchased the building on Portage Avenue in 2021 and plans to turn it into a collaborative retail space for up to 60 tenants.

This week the group announced this week it has secured a $670,000 loan from Northwest Bank to continue renovations. Parts of the building date back to 1908 and Keen and his group have had their hands full getting the 56,000-square foot space up to snuff. Keen has previously told WVPE he's had to clean up the building's interior and take out asbestos. The group also has plans to repair the roof, doors and windows.

Overall, the project is estimated to cost nearly $4 million.