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City pledges $19.5 million toward $71 million downtown project

Mayor wants to use Legacy, capital-improvement funds and other sources

Monday, October 7, 2013 - 10:30 am

The city will contribute $19.5 million toward a $71 million downtown development that will include a new national headquarters for Ash Brokerage and a residential development led by Hanning & Bean Enterprises.

In addition to $19.6 million investment by Ash and $32 million by Hanning & Bean, the city anticipates its investment would come from a combination of tax increment financing (TIF) funds through the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, Legacy funds and support from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB).

According to a statement issued Monday, the city's contribution would include $11.7 million toward a parking garage; $4.3 million for land acquisition for the project bounded by Wayne, Berry, Harrison and Webster streets; $2.7 million for site preparation and $750,000 for streetscape improvements

The Redevelopment Commission will consider the city's proposed investment at a meeting to begin at 4 p.m. Oct. 14. in Room 030 of Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St. City officials will also make a presentation to the CIB at its meeting on Oct. 17 and will also be appearing before City Council to request Legacy funds and approve bond financing that first will be presented to the Redevelopment Commission.

Ash Brokerage plans to build its corporate headquarters downtown with 95,000 square feet of office space. The project would also include a parking garage and 21,600 square feet of first-floor retail space. More than 200 employees would be part of Ash's move to downtown. Ash also anticipates increasing its local workforce with 115 additional jobs over the next few years.

Hanning & Bean Enterprises plans to construct a residential development, including apartments, condominiums, and street-front townhouses. The development would total 80 apartments, 10-14 condominiums and six street-front townhouses, plus a rooftop park/green space on top of the parking garage.

Construction would begin in March and take nearly two years to complete.