The official opening of Skyline Tower Thursday marked the completion of a five-year transformation for a block in the heart of the city.

After plans were revealed to move the Ash Brokerage headquarters downtown in 2013, work began to completely clear the land between Main, Wayne, Webster and Harrison Street. 

The effort came to an end five years after the announcement with a ribbon cutting at Skyline Tower Thursday.

“The Skyline Tower is a perfect example of what’s possible when you bring together state, regional and community leaders,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a press release. “Because of this collaboration, we can better support economic opportunities that will allow us to take Fort Wayne and the surrounding areas to the next level.

The $42 million, 12-story building is home to 123 apartments, a regional office for First Merchants Bank and a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.

The businesses were open and operating ahead of the ribbon cutting for the residential portion. At that point, 60% of the apartments were filled.

“This has been about community building,” Director of Great Lakes Capital explained. “We’re honored to be a part of seeing our community in Skyline Tower continue to grow and be a part of our broader community in Fort Wayne.”

“This is an example of how Fort Wayne is working to position itself as a contender in the region,” Mayor Tom Henry added. I can tell you from experience there are not too many communities who continue to evolve like we in Fort Wayne.”

Skyline Tower was the first project to be approved for Regional Cities funds. That totaled to $2.8 million investment. Among other things, funding also came from Community Revitalization Enhancement District tax credits, federal New Markets Tax Credits and private investors.