Capital Improvements Board approves updated Electric Works resolution

April 25th, 2019

By Doug LeDuc | Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

The Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board approved moving back its commitment to the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission for money to Electric Works at its meeting April 25.

Developer RTM Ventures now has a deadline of Sept. 1, with closing by Nov. 30.

The meeting included an item described as “Amendment Electric Works Resolution” and the project could use an adjustment in the terms it agreed to meet for $45 million in bond support that CIB conditionally approved.

The developer, RTM Ventures, agreed to a June 30 deadline for securing signed leases for at least 250,000 square feet of space at Electric Works.

In addition to the $45 million in bonds, $10 million has been allocated from the city’s Legacy Fund, $3.5 million each from both Fort Wayne and Allen County income taxes, and $3 million in loans from the CIB and the county for remediation efforts.

But, a partial shutdown of the federal government that lasted more than a month delayed its access to $45 million in tax credits that it counted on for the project. And some potential tenants want to see all its funding in place before committing to it.

“The Federal shutdown earlier this year affected the Interior and Treasury departments, which oversee the Historic Tax Credit and New Markets Tax Credit programs respectively,” Jeff Kingsbury, managing principal of Greenstreet Ltd., said in an email responding to questions about the summer deadline.

That Indianapolis firm, along with Decatur-based Biggs Development and Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners, make up RTM Ventures.

“These programs will bring about $45 million of equity investment into Electric Works and Fort Wayne. The delays at the federal level affect the project closing and construction schedule,” Kingsbury said.

“We have been in communication with the city about these issues, which allowed us to work together on a revised timeline for the economic development agreement. And, we appreciate the cooperation and support of the mayor, Redevelopment Commission, and the CIB,” he said.

“As soon as we have firm dates from the federal government on these approvals, we can be in a position to meet the conditions of the EDA (economic development agreement), announce a firm date for closing with the city, and move ahead with construction.”

Electric Works is a $250 million public-private partnership to redevelop the west side of the former General Electric complex at 1030 Swinney Ave. off Broadway to create more than 1.2 million square feet of space for office, educational, innovation, retail, residential and entertainment uses.

Plans call for apartments and retail space that will include a public market/food hall and 90,000 square feet of innovation space.

Eventually redeveloping both sides of the Broadway complex will cost $440 million.

“We are making good progress on the on-site environmental remediation work and we are continuing to build the leasing pipeline and work with tenants to secure letters of intent,” Kingsbury said.

“We have 12 tenants that have signed letters of intent for 119,700 square feet of space at Electric Works. When we have a firm construction start and delivery date, we can convert these LOI’s to leases.”

Some of the businesses and organizations that have announced plans for an Electric Works presence include Parkview Health, Fort Wayne Metals, Indiana University Research and Technology Corp., Medical Informatics Engineering, Indiana Tech and Fort Wayne Community Schools.