Jefferson Pointe’s plans for an internal roadway through the shopping center are one step closer to reality. Monday, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission approved a plan to reimburse owner Red Development up to $3.5 million.
The project calls for a street along with a roundabout through the interior or Jefferson Pointe. The mall’s developer wants to build it near the center of the campus. Entrances are planned on Illinois Road and West Jefferson Boulevard.
The project would allow shoppers to drive up to stores that are currently only accessible by foot. Secondly, it will help the shopping center attract more tenants.
The reason The city of Fort Wayne will reimburse the mall for building the road is because the road will be public. It will be the city’s road. Anyone can drive through or park on this new street.
Redevelopment Director Nancy Townsend says this is a big deal for the city.
“Red Development is marketing companies to locate in the mall that we need, that the population of Fort Wayne needs and desires and so while they’re doing that they also learned that convenience is important,” she said. “This road will make it more convenient for those of us who live, work and play here in Fort Wayne to access the services that we need in Jefferson Pointe.”
Here’s RED Development’s statement regarding the plans:
We are excited and grateful to the Redevelopment Commission for partnering with us on such an exciting revitalization project at Jefferson Pointe. Along with upgraded lighting, new paving, and refreshed paint and landscaping, a new, interior main street will provide better access and convenient parking to shops in the courtyard while maintaining a pedestrian-friendly environment. Overall, our goal is to create a more vibrant and appealing environment for our guests while also attracting new, best-in-class merchants. We look forward to getting started on those improvements starting later this summer.” – Jeff McMahon, Managing Partner
City councilman Jason Arp does not like the idea of the internal roadway.
“I voted against the city reimbursement of the construction of a private drive through tax increment financing,” he said. “The plan had little detail to suggest that there would be any additional increment from which to fund the street project. Also, Apple Glen Drive is in sore repair, and there was nothing in this plan to address that. We missed an opportunity to fix this ongoing problem of a private drive that is regularly used by the public as a thorough fare. Redevelopment could have made that a priority in these negotiations.”
This new internal roadway is a part of an approximately $16 million project that will also include upgraded lighting, new paving, and refreshed paint and landscaping.
Construction is expected to begin this summer. The finish date hasn’t been released.
The $3.5 million is being repaid over three years. It will be paid with money Jefferson Pointe has saved through property taxes.