Mayor Tom Henry today provided an update on the City of Fort Wayne’s position on the Electric Works project.
Mayor Henry reiterated that he and his administration continue to support the redevelopment plans for the former General Electric (GE) property and want to see it succeed.
For the past several months, a working group at the direction of Mayor Henry and comprised of representatives from the City of Fort Wayne, Allen County, Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB), Greater Fort Wayne Inc., and Electric Works developer RTM Ventures has been working as partners on a number of due diligence items in a collective effort to help make the project a reality. Mayor Henry emphasized that all parties involved recognize a lot of work is ahead, particularly on financials and getting leases signed by tenants.
“As Mayor, it’s my duty to ask the difficult questions to ensure our community’s finances remain strong now and in the future. Raising pertinent questions and possible concerns aren’t indicators that there’s a lack of support from me and my administration. We simply must look out for the best interests of our entire community,” said Mayor Henry. “The City’s recent proposal of $50 million in local funding to go toward the Electric Works initiative demonstrates our willingness to make a substantial investment to assist in the redevelopment of the former GE property.”
Mayor Henry applauded the RTM Ventures team for its innovative approach and vision to bring office, retail, residential and educational uses to the former GE site. Mayor Henry and his administration continue to be optimistic about the viability of Electric Works and are looking forward to what the future holds for the project. However, with a project of this size and magnitude, it’s imperative for the development team to demonstrate to all local governing bodies and the public that a comprehensive and sustainable financial and tenant plan will be forthcoming.
Outline of ongoing and upcoming action steps:
*Working with the CIB to secure the market analysis for the project
*Working with the CIB to secure the financial analysis for the project regarding funding streams necessary to support bond financing
*Work with Allen County to secure their financial commitment for the project
*Continue the evaluation of the viability of prospective tenants
*Obtain from RTM Ventures the due diligence items that were previously requested
*After obtaining the due diligence items from RTM Ventures, work will continue with the various boards, public agencies and elected officials to respond to any questions and concerns
*Finalize the development agreement with RTM Ventures, which will confirm their commitments and obligations to the project and the conditions for local funding assistance
“We’re fortunate to be able to have a healthy dialogue and debate about important issues in Fort Wayne. Most communities in Indiana and across the country aren’t in the positive position we’re in with meaningful investments and new projects taking place in downtown and in every quadrant of our City,” said Mayor Henry. “It’s critical for all of us to work together and engage with the public as we continue to determine the most appropriate next steps to keep the process moving forward.”