Panel moves ahead on Landing project
By Dave Gong | The Journal Gazette
The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission approved an economic development agreement Monday with The Model Group for the redevelopment of The Landing.
Monday's approval was a necessary step toward finalizing the financial structure needed to close on the sale of the buildings on The Landing, which are currently owned by the Downtown Development Trust. The sale is expected to be complete by the end of the year. The agreement was approved with only one dissenting vote from City Councilman Jason Arp, R-4th.
“The mission of our company is to positively transform communities and we are thrilled to be a part of this project,” said Bobby Maly, COO of The Model Group. “Not just because we're transforming this block, but because of what this represents. We love to be a part of things that are not just a project itself but part of something much bigger.”
The Landing project consists of 72 apartment units and 60,000 square feet of commercial space across eight buildings. The commercial component will be split between retail and office space, Maly said.
The agreement, Maly said, includes a reimbursement component for a $2.5 million project tax increment financing district, as well. Last August, the Fort Wayne City Council approved a new TIF district that includes The Landing and the Superior Lofts development. Property tax revenue generated by a TIF district can be used for improvements within that district.
The Landing's primary development plan for a new four-story mixed-use structure at 111 W. Columbia St. was briefly presented Monday night during a public hearing of the Fort Wayne Plan Commission.
Mark Reinhard, Engineering Resources, Fort Wayne, showed a rendering of a building with retail or restaurant use on the ground floor, including a pedestrian space with a patio on the west side of the building and three residential floors above.
The project, which will demolish an existing two-story office building that does not have historic status, does not require rezoning nor any waivers from development standards, he said.
New property lines are being drawn to make the structure meet setback requirements for its Downtown Core district. The project already has been passed by the Historic Preservation Commission, an approval required because the location has been part of a national historic district since 1993.
No one from the public spoke for or against the project. The plan commission will vote on the primary development plan during its business meeting at 5 p.m. Monday in Room 30 of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.
In other business, the redevelopment commission awarded two more contracts for the Clyde Theatre project. Those contracts – one for materials, the other a construction contract focusing on the theater's roof – amount to just over $600,000 and are the last of five contracts needed for the project. Altogether, the contract costs for all five totaled about $1.3 million, which is $300,000 more than the $1 million Legacy Fund loan approved for the project.
The costs exceeding the loan amount are the responsibility of the developer, redevelopment director Nancy Townsend said Monday.