Fort Wayne City Council latest to consider incentives for downtown ’boutique’ hotel

Developers of a downtown "boutique" hotel are seeking millions in tax savings and $750,000 from City Council. (Courtesy image)

City Council could soon join the list of local government bodies providing subsidies for a $27 million “boutique” hotel in downtown Fort Wayne.

On Tuesday council will consider two incentives for the planned 125-room hotel to be developed at Main and Harrison streets by Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Baekgaard and Oregon-based Provenance Hotels. A proposed abatement would reduce taxes on new equipment by $19,200 over seven years and by $3.8 million over 10 years on real estate improvements. Council will also consider a proposal under which the project would receive $750,000 in county economic development income taxes in annual installments of $125,000 over six years. The CEDIT funds would be repaid by taxes generated by the project.

According to the abatement application, the hotel will create 73 full-time jobs with an average salary of $35,273, along with 17 part-time positions. The project will also include a fine-dining restaurant, retail and other space — including a fifth-floor, indoor-outdoor eating and entertainment area.

The project received support from three other bodies last week. The city’s Redevelopment Commission agreed to make the city’s portion of the lot available, the Capital Improvement Board pledged $2.58 million in food and beverage tax revenue, some of which will be repaid, and the County Commissioners provided the county’s portion of the site along with a $2 million CEDIT loan.

Construction could start next year.