Ash developer looking for funds

January 20th, 2016

News Coverage:

January 20, 2016 1:03 AM

Ash developer looking for funds

Asks for money from $42 million Regional Cities grant

Sherry Slater | The Journal Gazette

Now that city officials have gone public with the selection of Great Lakes Capital to develop the $40 million residential portion of Ash Skyline Plaza, the South Bend firm’s officials are making the local rounds.

On Tuesday, managing partner Brad Toothaker met with the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority in a bid to receive a portion of the $42 million state grant recently promised to the region by the Indiana Economic Development Corp.

Toothaker, who is also president and CEO of the Bradley Co., outlined the project to the five board members. The Regional Development Authority, which is meeting next week with IEDC officials in Indianapolis, has yet to draft a formal application form to receive the funds.

Without making a solid commitment, the board members endorsed the 170,000-square-foot, 12-story project, which includes 124 apartments, offices and retail space.

Board member Brad Bishop said the mixed-use project fits with his understanding of the kinds of things that help attract young talent to a city.

Jeff Turner, who chairs the board, was even more enthusiastic.

“I love this project,” he said. “I think it hits the sweet spot of the Regional Cities Initiative.”

Regional Development Authority approval will depend on various factors, including whether Toothaker can nail down numerous funding sources. Local, state and federal governments are all expected to participate.

Great Lakes Capital will use Community Revitalization Enhancement Credits from the IEDC and federal New Markets Tax Credits to help finance its portion. Fort Wayne officials last week signed an agreement to provide $4 million toward the project. For that to happen, a bond issue must be approved by the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission and Fort Wayne City Council.

The first two elements of the newest downtown tower are nearing completion. Ash Skyline’s garage is scheduled to open in February. The Ash Brokerage headquarters is on pace to open in May, just in time for construction on the residential tower to begin. Its estimated construction timeline is 18 months.