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City¹s investment in downtown development to be discussed at Redevelopment Commission meeting

Fort Wayne, Ind. – The City of Fort Wayne’s public investment package for the recently announced $71 million development in downtown will be presented at today’s Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission meeting. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. in Room 030 on the Garden Level of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.

The Redevelopment Commission will be asked to take action on portions of the investment package.

Resolutions that will be considered for approval include:
*Ratifying and approving land acquisition costs
*Approving a contract for professional architectural/engineering services for the parking garage component of the project

Last week, the City detailed its public participation in the project. The City’s investment would come from a combination of tax increment financing (TIF) funds through the Redevelopment Commission, Legacy funds, and support from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB).

Highlights of City’s $19.5 million investment:
$11.7 million – parking garage
$4.3 million – land acquisition
$2.7 million – site preparation
$750,000 – streetscape improvements

Seeking approval for a bond to finance the parking garage and site preparation will occur at future Redevelopment Commission meetings. City officials will also make a presentation to the CIB at its meeting on Thursday, Oct. 17. The City will request funding to assist with the financing of the City’s investment in the project. In the coming weeks, City officials will come before City Council to request Legacy funds in the amount of $1-2 million. City Council would also be asked to approve bond financing that first will be presented to the Redevelopment Commission for approval in the near future.

Last month, the $71 million development in downtown that includes a new national headquarters for Ash Brokerage and a residential development led by Hanning & Bean Enterprises was announced. The public-private partnerships would result in $51.6 million in private dollars ($19.6 by Ash and $32 million by Hanning & Bean).

Ash Brokerage plans to build its corporate headquarters in downtown with 95,000 square feet of office space. The project would also include a parking garage and 21,600 square feet of first-floor retail space. More than 200 employees would be part of Ash’s move to downtown. Ash also anticipates increasing its local workforce with 115 additional jobs over the next few years.

Hanning & Bean Enterprises plans to construct a residential development, including apartments, condominiums, and street-front townhouses. The development would total 80 apartments (94,000 square feet), 10-14 condominiums (26,000 square feet), and six street-front townhouses (13,500 square feet). There would also be a rooftop park/green space on top of the parking garage.

The integrated initiative will result in new knowledge-based jobs, hundreds of construction jobs, housing, and retail in the core of the city. The new development would be bordered by Wayne, Harrison, Berry, and Webster streets and utilize nearly a full square block. It’s anticipated construction would begin in March 2014 and take nearly two years to complete.