FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The people behind Project Mastodon, along U.S. 30 have gotten what is believed to be the final public approval needed to start construction. The city’s Redevelopment Commission voted to approve the Economic Development Agreement drawn up for the project.
The agreement gives the green light for the company behind building the large warehouse-type building to buy the land surrounded by U.S. 30, Flaugh Road and Washington Center Road from the city fir $2.3 million. It also holds the company accountable for reimbursing the city up to $3.5 million for infrastructure improvements made in the area in the months ahead.
A representative for Ambrose Property Group, Scott Sanders, updated the commission on the project Friday, giving as many details as he could under a non-disclosure agreement that has been put in place. He guaranteed that the company would hire at least 1,000 people to work in the facility at a minimum of $15 per hour.
According to Sanders, Fort Wayne was not the only market that was looked at for this building.
“Fort Wayne is a community with a very strong labor force,” Sanders said. “It’s been renowned as being pro-development. This site and the work that had been put into it before we came along it was clear that this land was earmarked for development such as this and it seemed to be, at the early stages, a good fit and good option for this project.”
City Councilman Jason Arp was the only commissioner to vote “no” on the Economic Development Agreement Friday. Greg Leatherman, the city’s former director of Community Development was among those having faith in the project.
“I can at least say, in terms of the process, other than the reticence to reveal, is a seamless one stop, one party, one group to meet with, as opposed to multiple,” Leatherman told WANE 15. “They like the way it works for them and I think the city likes it that way as well. It’s simpler. It’s more reliable. There’s less uncertainty of what the dollar amounts are and who’s responsible for doing them. It’s a much more simplified process this way.”
Construction is set to begin in the summer. The building should be up and running by the end of 2022.