Landing, riverfront, top list seeking $12.7 million in Legacy funds
By Kevin Leininger | News-Sentinel
When the city's Legacy Joint Funding Committee meets on Nov. 9, three requests totaling $12.7 million will be on the agenda — including $2.5 million for the redevelopment of the downtown Landing unveiled this week.
The largest request for funds generated through the sale of the city's former electric utility, $10 million for improvements to downtown riverfronts, has been previously reported by The News-Sentinel. Proposed funding sources for the $35 million Landing project, however, have now been revealed in documents submitted to the city.
In addition to the proposed Legacy loan, other anticipated funding sources listed in the application from the Cincinnati-based Model Group include $3.94 million in first mortgage equity from the Illinois Finance Fund, $3.25 million in equity from individual investors, $6.7 million in federal New Market Tax Credits, $3.97 million in historic tax credit equity from the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, $2.5 million in city tax increment financing, a forgivable loan from the Downtown Development Trust, another $1.2 million in debt from the Trust and $7.1 million in state Regional Cities funds.
The project will create 72 housing units and 58,000 square feet of office, retail and commercial space, creating 636 construction jobs and 234 full-time jobs, the application states. The jobs are expected to produce $25.4 million in wages during construction and $13 million in wages each year after that. The first-floor commercial spaces are expected to generate $24.8 million in annual sales.
Construction costs are expected to be about $32.2 million, with the city providing $2.5 million in streetscape and infrastructure improvements.
As for the Parks and Recreation Department's riverfront request, the Legacy funds would supplement $7.7 million earmarked for improvements to the south bank of the St. Mary's River, including the promenade and pavilion. The north bank would receive $12.3 million in improvements, including a tree canopy and overlooks, boat launch, children's play area and other features.
The department also plans to raise $5 million from local foundations and private sources for construction costs, along with $5 million from Regional Cities. The application estimates the pavilion and other components of the project will generate about $300,000 in annual revenue. Maintenance is estimated at $180,000 annually. The project has already received $6 million from Legacy for design and other costs, $3 million from the Capital Improvement Board for land acquisition and $1.5 million from the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne for plans and studies and other items.
Brightpoint, meanwhile, is requesting $200,000 toward a $346,666 program to provide small-business loans in southeast Fort Wayne. Even Keel Holdings, which plans to renovate the former Clyde Theater into an entertainment venue at a cost of about $5 million, is requesting a delay in consideration for Legacy funding despite the city Redevelopment Commission's support for a $1 million Legacy loan earlier this month.
Six of City Council's nine members must approve use of Legacy dollars.