The Department of Community Investment is organized into four teams that work collaboratively with each other to assist the citizens and businesses of South Bend with a variety of tasks. The four teams are:

Business Development

The Business Development Team is here to connect you to resources and programs when you are ready to locate or expand your business in South Bend.  Our team  is responsible for the analysis, budgeting, and usage of certain Department of Community Investment funding sources, including the Industrial Revolving Loan Fund, Industrial Revenue Bonds, Tax Abatements, and Tax Incremental Financing.  Additionally, the team is responsible for the management of Redevelopment Commission owned property. The team focuses city-wide while providing specialized opportunities in the downtown and various other development areas. Small or large, start-up or established, make the City of South Bend Business Development Team your first call.

Engagement and Economic Empowerment

The Engagement and Economic Empowerment team is here to empower all residents with access to economic opportunities and meaningful civic participation.  Our team will strive to improve the quality of life for residents in neighborhoods and help facilitate community partnerships.   

Neighborhood Development

The Neighborhood Development Team provides revitalization services that assist to promote and stabilize the City’s neighborhoods.  Through the investment of federal grants, management of housing programs and partnerships with neighborhood and community organizations, assistance is available to low and moderate income individuals, as well as residents new to the community.

Planning and Community Resources

The Planning and Community Resources Team engages the public and convenes groups with diverse opinions to develop and implement strategies for neighborhoods, commercial areas, and underutilized land in the city. The team creates short and long term plans and policies that promote distinct character and a sense of place for the community. The team also conducts research and analysis of local, regional and national planning issues and advises other City departments and partner agencies on land use and zoning topics.

The Historic Preservation Commission of South Bend and St. Joseph County's primary function is to identify buildings, structures, sites and objects, which are architecturally or historically significant.  The Commission is granted powers to draft preservation guidelines and plans, advise other agencies on matters concerning historic sites and structures, and assist and educate the public. The Commission's jurisdiction includes the City of South Bend and the unincorporated areas of St. Joseph County.

The Commission makes recommendations to the Council.  Once a Landmark or District is designated by ordinance, the Commission serves as the agency that administers the preservation standards required by the designation.  These standards are a tool to maintain a structure's, a district's, or a landscape's character defining features. Application for a Certificate Of Appropriateness (COA) is the formal manner through which the Commission monitors the character and condition of a Landmark or District.  The Nine volunteer board members of the Historic Preservation Commission are appointed for three year terms and are knowledgeable in various aspects of local history, historic preservation, and traditional trades.

Eight members are appointed by the legislative and executive branches of South Bend and St. Joseph County governments, two by the County Commissioners, two by the South Bend Common Council, two by the County Council, and two by the Mayor of South Bend. Each body appoints one Democrat and one Republican. The ninth member is the Architectural Historian and is appointed by the Historic Preservation Commission.

Since 1973, approximately 200 Local Landmarks in South Bend and St. Joseph County, 9 Local Historic Districts, and several National Register Districts and properties have been designated. About 6,000 sites and structures have been identified in architectural surveys as Outstanding, Notable, or Contributing resources of the area's history.

Historic Preservation Commission 2018 Meeting Dates & COA Deadlines

COA Application



Department of Community Investment

227 West Jefferson Blvd. • Suite 1400 S

South Bend, Indiana 46601