FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Even after getting approval from the plan commission, an e-waste smelter will not end up in southeast Fort Wayne… for now.

While trying to purchase the land and get clearance for its plant, Exurban faced opposition and conflict in court from residents.

According to a statement from the city, that lawsuit made things difficult for the company, eventually leading to the purchase agreement for the land at Adams Center and Paulding roads to expire.

The purchase agreement between the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission and Exurban expired and hasn’t been renewed. The City of Fort Wayne and Exurban had a positive working relationship. Difficulties arose when a lawsuit was filed by a nearby landowner challenging the development. Exurban has expressed a continued interest in developing a business model in northeast Indiana in the future. The City of Fort Wayne will continue its efforts to find another private entity to invest in the city-owned property at Adams Center and Paulding roads to bring more economic development opportunities and additional jobs to our community.

The City of Fort Wayne

The city confirmed to WANE 15 that the agreement expired on 1-31-23.

Those who were against the plant from the beginning have found that the outcome has brought them a sense of hope mixed with continued fervor to keep the plant out of Fort Wayne.

“We’re very happy and excited that it’s not moving forward right now,” said Abby Norden, a concerned citizen. “Every location that it could be, we will be there fighting against it just like we did here.”

Despite the setback, Exurban is still considering northeast Indiana for a location.

Co-founders Wes Adams and Jean-Paul Deco shared a statement with WANE 15:

“Exurban remains committed to advancing its zero-waste electronic metals recycling project in Indiana and will still be considering Northeastern Indiana. We have terminated our current purchase agreement at the Adams Township Industrial Park in Fort Wayne, as progress was delayed by a lawsuit challenging compliance with the city zoning ordinance. Exurban has elected to move to a more suitable site after several community leaders in other Indiana cities and counties expressed their interest in hosting our project.

The good news is that our recycling facility will still bring a $340M investment to Indiana, which will create up to 200 high-paying new jobs in the green technology sector. Indiana is already home to several leading metals recycling companies who are working together to provide low-carbon-footprint recycled materials to American manufacturers, whilst also eliminating waste streams and protecting the environment. Exurban intends to play a major role in this. We would like to thank the City of Fort Wayne for considering us and Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Greater Fort Wayne Inc., for helping us find a new home. We look forward to announcing a new project location later this year.”