FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A quest to renovate the downtown Arts United Center and bring it into the current century just got a little easier.
The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority approved a $6 million grant to Arts United that will go toward a more than $40 million project designed to expand and modernize the iconic theatre on Main Street, officials said in a media release Wednesday.
“We are grateful and thrilled to have been granted a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring this iconic community theatre designed by world-famous architect Louis Kahn into the 21st century, so it can continue to serve the residents of Northeast Indiana,” said Susan Mendenhall, president of Arts United, in the media release.
The grant comes from the Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) program, which was launched in 2021 by the Indiana Economic Devlopment Corporation and aims to accelerate Indiana’s population growth by focusing on strategies to make Indiana cities and towns a haven for talent and financial investments.
Officials with Arts United said the full renovation and expansion of the main center requires an investment of $42.4 million.
Arts United presented a $30 million budget to the redevelopment authority with $3 million coming from the City of Fort Wayne, another $3 million from the Allen County Commissioners, an additional $3 million from the Allen County Capital Improvement Board and more funds from private philanthropy, individuals, businesses and foundations, officials said in the media release.
Officials said the organization will continue to raise funds and seek tax credits in 2023 with an anticipated construction start date of June 2024.