Northeast Indiana important ‘test case’
By Dan McGowan | Inside INdiana Business
The chief executive officer of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership says continued progress at the massive Electric Works project at the old General Electric campus in Fort Wayne demonstrates the power of public-private partnerships. The Allen County Capital Improvement Board and the Allen County Commissioners have just approved a combined $3 million in loans for the project, further backing John Sampson's assertion that the area is a "test case" for private investment following public buy-in.
Sampson was part of a special Fort Wayne Town Hall edition of the show from Parkview Field, a venue considered the catalyst for the city's downtown resurgence. It came together, he says, because of P3 collaboration.
Electric Works is also in line to receive up to $50 million in state incentives and is awaiting approval of $60 million in federal money toward a first phase expected to exceed a total of $213 million. The project is being supported by the Indiana Regional Cities initiative, which has provided $42 million in northeast Indiana as a spark for additional investment for quality-of-place projects.
"We are a test case for invest, invest, invest," Sampson said. "Invest in your community. Invest in talent, and what follows that is the assurance that private sector revenue is going to follow that and make their own equal or better investment."
Looking beyond Fort Wayne, Sampson said Regional Cities is supporting proposals in 10 of his organization's 11 northeast Indiana counties.