Less than two weeks after the City of Fort Wayne and RTM Ventures announced a new funding agreement for the Electric Works project, the first round of reviews began Monday afternoon.
The Redevelopment Commission passed by a 4-1 vote an agreement that allows the city to seek authorization for $62 million in public funding. That money will come from bonds, tax revenue, legacy fund money, CEDIT revenue, and other public funding.
A total of around $300 million is needed to transform the old General Electric campus into commercial, retail and residential space.
“This is a big, huge project, this is a big deal, probably the biggest thing we’ve ever seen in Fort Wayne,” said Councilman Geoff Paddock.
The current funding agreement for the Electric Works project came after months of negotiating and nearly two dozen contract revisions.
“This is really about the next step that we are taking to make this project a reality,” said Josh Parker, a representative from RTM Ventures about the agreement.
The Redevelopment Commission was the first of several local entities to look at the agreement and decide whether or not to approve it. It still has a long way to go.
“County council needs to approve some money, city council needs to approve some additional money,” said Mayor Henry. “A lot of different bodies will ultimately be involved in making sure this thing happens.”
It’s a lot of money and a lot steps, but city leaders say it’s a project that will be worth it in the end.
“It’s a huge project, there is public investment, I think we will see a good return on that investment with more income tax dollars, and jobs and property values going up,” said Councilman Paddock.
The Electric Works Economic Development Agreement can be summarized as follows:
- To incentivize the Electric Works Project, the City agrees to pursue the authorization of $62 million ($3 million has already been approved) in local public funding to the Electric Works Project, subject, however, to certain procedures and conditions.
- In consideration of the local public funding to the Electric Works Project, the Developer agrees to develop, finance, construct and operate the Electric Works Project as described within the Economic Development Agreement.
- City agrees to pursue the authorizations and approvals necessary for the City to provide the public funding on or before October 31, 2018, subject to an extension to November 30, 2018, if more time is needed.
- Developer agrees to provide the commitments and approvals necessary for the Developer to develop, finance and construct the Project within 60 days of the City’s receipt of authorizations and approvals, but no later than December 31, 2018.
- City and Developer intend that the public investment in the Project shall be made simultaneously with all other federal, state and private loans and investments. The City has conditioned its agreement to provide the $62 million in public investment upon the satisfaction of certain conditions. The conditions are designed to assure the City and the public that the investment of public funds is being made in a prudent manner. Some of the conditions must be met by December 31, 2018.
- Public infrastructure improvements needed to support the Project will ultimately be paid for utilizing funds generated by the Project through the payment of real estate property taxes.