Out of state developers visiting Fort Wayne for potential projects

March 31st, 2016

News Coverage:

March 30, 2016

Out of state developers visiting Fort Wayne for potential projects

Corinne Rose | 21Alive

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) -- It looks like Fort Wayne's efforts to develop downtown and the surrounding areas are attracting out-of-state firms to look at projects.

It means that Fort Wayne and its opportunities for development are is starting to be noticed on a national level.

    Executives at Greater Fort Wayne Inc confirm multiple out-of-town developers are interested in upcoming projects in the Summit City, including the riverfront, the Landing, the GE campus and even the potential downtown arena.

    We reached out to a Baltimore-based developer whose representatives have visited Fort Wayne three times in the past four months.

    An executive there says his firm is impressed with the investment Fort Wayne's already made in the downtown library, the Grand Wayne Center and Parkview Field, and says the plans for the future tell an attractive story about a community investing in itself.

    That's something leaders at Greater Fort Wayne love to hear.

    “The big thing about out of town developers is we're attracting investment into our community from outside of our community. So now we have people that could be investing in Indianapolis, in Florida, in Chicago that are looking at investing their dollars here in Fort Wayne. At the end of the day, we want to attract outside investment to our community,” John Urbahns says.

    Urbahns says one goal is to have 2,000 housing units in downtown in the next 10 years.

    With 300 already in place or being built, there's definitely room in the market for more development there.

    The executive at that Baltimore firm says his company looks for mixed-use development involving historic preservation, like taking an existing structure and enhancing what makes it and the area around it unique, then incorporating residential, office, laboratory and hospitality components.

    His firm is excited about the expansion by Saint Francis and Indiana Tech, the plan to increase the area's population by investing in creative infrastructure, and the fact that private, local investment is already happening with companies like Ash building its new tower downtown.

    We'll see what comes of all this.