It’s one of the most ambitious redevelopment projects in Fort Wayne history and on Thursday it took a step forward. The city has now agreed to seek 62 million dollars to help fund the Electric Works project.
Mayor Tom Henry, RTM Ventures and Fort Wayne Administration leaders met at the GE Club Thursday to announce the agreement.
Under the agreement, the city of Fort Wayne will seek authorizing for $62 million in public funding.
“This is a big, huge project, this is a big deal, probably the biggest thing we’ve ever seen in Fort Wayne,” said Councilman Geoff Paddock.
Discussions about funding the Electric Works project have been ongoing for months. 300 million dollars is needed to transform the old General Electric campus into commercial, retail and residential space.
“This is really about the next step that we are taking to make this project a reality,” said Josh Parker, a representative from RTM Ventures about the agreement.
Several approvals are needed before the money is set aside for the project.
“County council needs to approve some money, city council needs to approve some additional money,” said Mayor Henry. “A lot of different bodies will ultimately be involved in making sure this thing happens.”
It’s a lot of money and a lot steps, but city leaders say it’s a project that will be worth it in the end.
” It’s a huge project, there is public investment, I think we will see a good return on that investment with more income tax dollars, and jobs and property values going up,” said Councilman Paddock.
The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission still needs to formally approve the development agreement. The commission is meeting on September 10 and will consider the agreement.
The Electric Works Economic Development Agreement can be summarized as follows:
- To incentivize the Electric Works Project, the City agrees to pursue the authorization of $62 million ($3 million has already been approved) in local public funding to the Electric Works Project, subject, however, to certain procedures and conditions.
- In consideration of the local public funding to the Electric Works Project, the Developer agrees to develop, finance, construct and operate the Electric Works Project as described within the Economic Development Agreement.
- City agrees to pursue the authorizations and approvals necessary for the City to provide the public funding on or before October 31, 2018, subject to an extension to November 30, 2018, if more time is needed.
- Developer agrees to provide the commitments and approvals necessary for the Developer to develop, finance and construct the Project within 60 days of the City’s receipt of authorizations and approvals, but no later than December 31, 2018.
- City and Developer intend that the public investment in the Project shall be made simultaneously with all other federal, state and private loans and investments. The City has conditioned its agreement to provide the $62 million in public investment upon the satisfaction of certain conditions. The conditions are designed to assure the City and the public that the investment of public funds is being made in a prudent manner. Some of the conditions must be met by December 31, 2018.
- Public infrastructure improvements needed to support the Project will ultimately be paid for utilizing funds generated by the Project through the payment of real estate property taxes.