New tech hub opens in South Bend's Ignition Park

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The old Studebaker manufacturing site in South Bend is now home to a multi-million dollar tech hub.

Catalyst One is officially open for business tonight.

Millions of dollars in private and public money have gone into the project.

It took years and millions of dollars to remediate more than 70 acres of land where this building now sits.

Now investors hope they'll reap the benefits by attracting more people to work and invest in our area.

"There was a time when this was viewed as the epicenter that was everything that was wrong with the economy in South Bend and now it's one of the most exciting places to see what's going right," said (D) Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Catalyst One and Catalyst Two both cost more than six million dollars each to build.

Catalyst Two already houses Notre Dame's turbo machinery lab.

Catalyst One rents space to businesses and houses tech companies like microIntegration.

"Right now in technology we're missing the collaboration piece," said Terry Gour, the President of microIntegration. "Here, we have four different collaboration rooms, whiteboards, we have all of the technology to get everyone together."

That's exactly what Great Lakes Capital and the City had in mind when they developed the project years ago.

It cost the city tens of millions of dollars to just clean up the land.

"There was so much environmental remediation that had to be done and so many collapsing structures on this land that it took a tremendous effort just to restore it to neutral," Mayor Buttigieg said.

"It's sort of the 'phoenix from the flames' sort of thing,' said Brad Toothaker with Great Lakes Capital. "We've gone from automotive manufacturing to more high-tech type manufacturing and research."

The goal is to make it a high-tech co-working space where entrepreneurs startups and small businesses can grow.

"We've had people walk through and say, 'wow, we didn't realize South Bend had a place like this, we didn't realize South Bend had a place to collaborate,' Gour said. "It's made a different in our business for sure."

All of the space is available to lease.

It costs about $12.59 per foot, plus the cost of utilities and other fees.

There's still room left to develop in the area.

Mayor Buttigieg says the goal is to make our area appealing to high-tech companies all over the world who may want to settle down in South Bend.

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