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Housing project for single-parent students to rise on SE-side

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Posterity Heights is what it's called, but its cause is perhaps noble.

The $42 million housing project formally broke ground Wednesday on the city's southeast side.

Posterity Heights is a project conceived by the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority in 2015. The project – Moving Forward – aims to provide affordable housing that increases quality of life while decreasing the cost of living for low-to-moderate income individuals and families.

Posterity Heights is being built at the site of the former McMillen Apartments at 4209 Plaza Drive.

The project will be completed in four phases with Phase I expected to be completed by summer 2018.

Phase 1 includes Posterity Scholar House. That phase will include 44 large 2-and-3 bedroom apartments capable of self-sustaining energy. They will use solar and battery storage to create net-zero energy usage.

The energy-efficient housing also includes an electric car sharing program for residents. They'll use web-based software to manage energy usage, reserve transportation, and access other amenities.

Residents in the Posterity Scholar House will be single parent students enrolled at a local university.

Phase II will include commercial retail and a training center called Posterity Place. The training center (Housing Life Development and Innovation Resource Center) will include a business accelerator and incubator for growing technology businesses. Some of the retail will include Posterity Place Food and Shops with a grocery store and health center, leased by Lutheran Health Network.

Phase III and IV will include Posterity Place Rental Townhomes known as Posterity Village and Market Rate Homes known as Posterity Point.

The overall project will also include parks and gardens that will available to the general public.

"I continue to be encouraged by the progress we're seeing in southeast Fort Wayne and throughout our community," Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. "The City has been working in partnership with neighborhood leaders to redevelop this property for almost 10 years and I am pleased to see this innovative project get underway. Together with the new homes in Renaissance Pointe, the McMillen Park Community Center, the completion of the Winter Street Urban Farm, construction of new trails and millions of dollars in infrastructure improvements, the Posterity Scholar House will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of this area and offer new opportunities and hope for residents."

The project is developed by BWI of Indianapolis. Joshua's Hand in Fort Wayne is leading the social side of development.

Funding sources include a combination of private and public money, including: IHSCDA low income housing tax credits, HOME funds, the City of Fort Wayne, and Northeast Regional Cities funds. Private sources include BWI, the National Equity Fund, BMO Harris Bank, and Column Financial.

"Posterity Heights is a transformative development at many levels, from creatively reusing a vacant site in southeast Fort Wayne, to fostering partnerships that are giving single parents a hand up in furthering their education and putting their kids on a path to a sustainable future," Gary Hobbs, president and CEO of BWI, LLC. said in a statement.  "We are proud to partner with Pastor Cedric Walker and the team at Joshua's Hand to offer integrated supportive services to the families who will call the Posterity Scholar House home."

"Joshua's Hand has committed itself to the social side of economic development because no economy can grow without growing people, no matter how much money is spent, they're the most important part of this," Cedric Walker, CEO, Joshua's Hand, said.

Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. will be a formal groundbreaking ceremony. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (R-IN), Mayor Tom Henry, City Councilman Glynn Hines (D-6th), Pastor Cedric Walker from Joshua's Hand, BWI President and CEO Gary Hobbs; Jacob Sipe, executive director at IHCDA; Melissa Roberts, director of communication and development at Energy Systems Network; Kristen Senff, vice president of Originations National Equity Fund; and John Dietzen, vice president at BMO Harris Bank are scheduled to attend the event.

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