FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Cleanup is almost complete in two big parts of the Electric Works Campus.
According to Development Partner Kevan Biggs, cleanup was made possible by county and Capital Improvement Board funds released last year. While developers work to secure the final pieces of funding for the project, work started on the removal of lead-based paint and asbestos in the old General Electric Buildings #26 and #27.
According to the construction plans, building 26 will serve as the main entrance to the complex and will house the food hall and market. Work in that building is around 70% complete. Meanwhile, cleanup in building 27 is near 100% finished. That building will hold offices in lower floors and around 80 residential spaces on the top two floors.
In an exclusive walk-through of the two buildings, WANE 15 found workers in full hazmat-style suits cleaning lead paint from steal support beams. Clear evidence cleanup has been happening in the residential space. Floors now reflect light instead of being covered in dirt and debris. Paint has been stripped from brick walls.
“We’re making a strong effort to identify the key features we want to keep and preserve,” Biggs explained. “Whether keeping things in place or moving to other spots in the campus.”
According to the developer, the cleanup work for the two buildings has come in under budget. The developers have started looking for other small buildings to begin cleanup.
The goal for the start of full construction has been set for the first quarter of 2020, with a goal of tenants moving in 2022. Two sources of funding are being secured before work can begin. Developers expected that to happen by November.
“The lion’s share of the dollars are held back until we get to capital closing… when all the funds come together,” Biggs said.
Developers are working out a plan for when more New Market tax credits will be available. Local funding will also be secured if tenants step up to fill 20,000 square feet of space, meeting the city’s benchmark of 250,000 square feet in committed space.
Among local companies calling dibs on space in Electric Works: Parkview, Joseph Decuis, Three Rivers Music Theatre, Spherion Staffing, Rush Rock Gym, Fort Wayne Metals, Fort Wayne Community Schools and Indiana Tech.
Biggs told WANE 15 that many big, national companies won’t commit until a year before they can move into the property.
He said the most complicated part of the process has been pulling all of the capitol together, calling it “very complicated.” He did add that size and scope is also a big undertaking.
“It’s like nothing that’s been done before in this region, let alone the state of Indiana,” Biggs added.