The Allen County commissioners said Friday the county would honor its commitment to contribute $1 million for the Electric Works development in downtown Fort Wayne.
Earlier this week, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry held a press conference in which he said he supported the redevelopment of the former General Electric campus, but called for developers to provide a comprehensive financial and tenant plan for the project.
During the conference, Henry said one of the city’s action items was to “work with Allen County to secure their financial commitment for the project.” He then offered $50 million in city funds and suggested the county contribute $12 million.
The commissioners on Friday released an email statement that said, in part, they’d already pledged $1 million in funds last December to Electric Works developers. In the statement, the commissioners said it was “a pledge the county intends to honor.”
Here is the Allen County commissioners’ statement:
Allen County government is cognizant of the impact a thriving downtown Fort Wayne can have on our community as a whole. We have been happy to play a leadership role in development projects such as the boutique hotel, Riverview development and Hall’s Restaurant relocation by providing direct funding or in-kind land donations which are making these transformative ideas realities. The Electric Works project which has garnered much attention offers significant revitalization opportunities for the downtown area. Yesterday, Mayor Henry indicated during a news conference his intention to “work with Allen County to secure their financial commitment for the project.” Allen County pledged $1 million in funds last December to Electric Works developers — a pledge the county intends to honor. While no specific request for additional assistance has been made to the county, there are a number of questions which need to be answered and details which must be addressed before any more county funds can be committed. To that end, we hope Mayor Henry and officials with the Electric Works project will meet with commissioners and members of County Council so we can gain a better understanding of their funding sources and how we might best continue in our leadership role. We understand time is of the essence. However, any decisions we make must take into account what is best not only for downtown Fort Wayne but for all citizens of Allen County.
The $300 million Electric Works project is somewhat up in the air as governments debate how much public funds to contribute. Developers have said they are looking for funding from private groups and money from state, local and national programs, and the city of Fort Wayne’s part would amount to $65 million.
Should it come to fruition, the plan for Electric Works is a mixed-use retail, industry, institution and residential area.