South Bend Renaissance District ready for big technology and growth

South Bend Renaissance District ready for big technology and growth

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) – The Renaissance District continues to progress around the old Studebaker campus as companies continue to hire and bring attention to a growing part of downtown South Bend.

Many of the buildings on that campus sat vacant for years, but now these buildings are a major hub for high-tech companies.

Part of the reason is the fiber optic connectivity the runs from Union Station to Chicago, and also from Union Station to Indianapolis.

“By July we’ll have a full product line where we can do anything up to stadiums, arenas, theme parks,” said Blake Augsburger, founder and CEO of LEA Professional.

LEA is one of the high-tech companies calling the old Studebaker complex home. They make digital audio amplifiers for clients around the world.

“You can name the amplifier whatever you want to name. You can see all the four channels. Our goal was to make it very intuitive, so three clicks, you can get to wherever you need to go.” Augsburger said.

LEA designs their products in South Bend, and while the Studebaker complex is a major hub for connectivity in South Bend, companies like LEA are bringing international attention to the area.

“We’re probably 70% international and 30% domestic. We have really good partners around the world, whether it be in Asia, Middle East, Europe, Africa,” Augsburger said.

16 News Now spoke with the man behind all of the development in the Studebaker complex and around the Renaissance District, and he says more companies coming in and taking advantage of the connectivity will bring big-city technology right here to Michiana.

“It isn’t going to happen to us, it’s going to happen because of us, and that’s what I would invite our community to realize, is now’s the time,” President and CEO of IQI Kevin Smith said. “You can be Midwesterner and be a leader at the same time.”

Smith says more plans are in the works for this area as they move through the phases of development, so keep an eye on the Renaissance District for more in the future.

He also says the Union Station is proposed to possibly become a stop along the South Shore Line.

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