FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Environmental troubles and inflation were the culprits delaying the multi-million dollar Lofts at Headwaters project at the corner of Clinton and Superior streets, said a longtime developer Friday.

“We all know it had environmental issues there,” said Don Steininger, member of the Capital Improvement Board, an entity that gave $3 million more for construction of the project in December. The Lofts will offer mixed use – retail and residential – next to Headwaters Park and Club Soda restaurant.

“When they started, the environmental was worse than what everybody thought. Once they found out, they had to take all the dirt out and dispose of it as hazardous. They redesigned the project and decided to have parking underground. They already had the hole,” Steininger said.

Costs for the project ballooned from $67 million to $100 million, Steininger said and called it “an embarrassment for everybody, including Barrett & Stokely,” the firm responsible for the project as well as Riverfront at Promenade Park, about a block away.

“Everyone got involved,” Steininger said. Barrett & Stokely put a substantial amount of money into the newly redesigned project with other investors that include the city and CIB.

“I’m told that they are there. They have the pieces altogether that now they can make it happen,” Steininger said. “It’s been very difficult for everyone involved because it really got away from them for a lot of reasons. You just had about three or four things that all went in the wrong direction.”

Zach Barrett, president of Barrett & Stokely Investments, said his firm should start construction on the site shortly.

“Were just finalizing all the documentation,” Barrett said. “We have all the commitments. We’re just crossing all the T’s and dotting all the I’s.”

Construction will be done in phases as was done with the Riverfront project, he said, so leasing can start before the project is completely finished sometime in 2025. Construction is estimated to take between 24 and 27 months.

Meanwhile, residents are moving in to Riverfront at Promenade, a project that faces Promenade Park at Harrison Street and wraps around the back to South Calhoun Street.

“I can tell you that, so far, they (Barrett & Stokely) are delighted with the response. I know the first 80 units (have) occupancy permits. Sixty of them were leased in the first 10 days, so their occupancy is very good. The others are about to come on and the office space is about to be completed. Everything should be done by this summer,” Steininger said.

Riverfront at Promenade is a $89 million project with 200 apartments, seven townhomes, a 900-space parking garage with about 30,000 square feet of office space and nearly 15,000 square feet of retail space.

Lofts at Headwaters was proposed as a 217-apartment building with 15 townhomes, 12,000 square feet of commercial space and a 651-space parking garage.