FORT WAYNE FIVE: Top five questions from the Electric Works Q&A

News-Sentinel.com’s Kevin Leininger, along with Journal Gazette Editorial Page Editor Karen Francisco, asked questions to Electric Works developers Jeff Kingsbury, Josh Parker and Kevan Biggs in an open forum Q&A on Tuesday, May 28 at the Grand Wayne Center downtown. You can watch the full video HERE.

But if you want to save some time, here are our picks for the top five questions asked during the Q&A.

Question: In a $225 million project where construction has begun, why does $15 million make or break the project? The city’s committing the $15 million of the $65 million requested. Why does that gap mean our community gets nothing instead of something phased or scaled to reflect the funds available?

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Question: You mentioned the American Tobacco Campus previously as the template for this, but it’s also been pointed out by city councilman Arp and others that it hit about the time of the recession, there was some scaleback of the project and it languished for a while . . . what happened there with one of your partners, Bill Streiber, who you mentioned? What have you learned from that, if anything, in case the economy would weaken again, which it inevitably will? How are you protected and how is the public protected should that happen here. And, can you settle once and for all, did anyone go bankrupt on that project?

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Question: You point to Durham, but Durham is a part of a larger region . . . But, I think of the metropolitan area where the population is 1.8 million. It’s a much larger community than we have here . . . this project is a much larger project than American Tobacco. Talk about potential tenants. Can this area draw the tenants you need to sustain this and are you going to be cannibalizing businesses that already exist here?

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Question: Your development fee of about $16.7 million has drawn a few raised eyebrows. Talk a little about when and how that will be paid out and how much equity does RTM have in the mix at this point?

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Question: With the growth of housing in the downtown area, it is crucial that we have a viable grocery store nearby, within walking distance, if possible. What is the likelihood that a full-service grocery will be included in the plans for Electric Works?

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