$100M Fort Wayne Project Hits Hurdle

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Residential developer Hanning & Bean Enterprises is pulling out of a nearly $100 million project in downtown Fort Wayne. Mayor Tom Henry says the city will select a new firm to move forward with the Ash Skyline Plaza, which includes Ash Brokerage Corp.'s relocated headquarters, plus parking and retail space.

September 25, 2014

News Release

Fort Wayne, Ind. – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today announced the City of Fort Wayne will select a new developer for the residential component of the major development project in downtown Fort Wayne.

Hanning & Bean Enterprises has chosen to not continue its involvement in the project as outlined in the Development Agreement that the City and Hanning & Bean signed in May for the Skyline Terrace residential component.

The City has received and is now pursuing multiple inquiries from residential development firms about the potential for a new residential development at the site. Up to $6 million in Community Revitalization Enhancement District credits from the State of Indiana will remain in place and be a key tool in securing a new developer for the location.

The Ash Skyline Plaza, home of the national corporate headquarters for Ash Brokerage, the City-owned Skyline Garage and retail components are moving forward as planned.

"Like many Fort Wayne residents, I am excited to see the unprecedented growth and development taking place throughout downtown," said Mayor Henry. "I am also encouraged to see Tim Ash's ongoing commitment to investment and jobs in the heart of our city. With the momentum Fort Wayne is experiencing, our team is confident that qualified residential developers will want to be part of this key project to compliment the Ash headquarters, parking garage, and retail space."

Tim Ash, chief executive officer of Ash Brokerage, joined Mayor Henry for today’s announcement and reemphasized his support and commitment to the downtown development.

Ash Brokerage is the largest independently owned brokerage agency in the United States serving insurance agents, financial advisors, registered representatives and career agents nationwide. Ash’s investment of up to $29 million includes 95,000 square feet of office space. More than 200 employees will be part of Ash's move to downtown, with an anticipated increase of 115 local jobs over the next few years.

The Skyline Garage will have 1,200 parking spaces. The garage will meet current needs, anticipated growth and future development in the downtown area.

The City’s investment of $39 million includes the parking garage, land acquisition, site preparation, streetscape improvements, utility upgrades, as well as other project enhancements. Funding for the City's investment in the development comes 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). No property taxes are being used to fund the City’s portion of the project.

In December 2013, Lake City Bank agreed to lease commercial space as part of the retail portion of the project.

Construction status report:

*Current – Parking garage construction underway

*April 2015 – Work to begin on the Ash headquarters building

*December 2015 – Substantial completion of the parking garage

*March 2016 – Substantial completion of the Ash headquarters building

Construction by the numbers:

*52,000 cubic yards of dirt have been removed

*30 dump trucks running daily

*On average, 300 loads of dirt are removed each day

*145 "I" beams (40 feet tall) have been installed as part of the earth retention system

*1,000 augercast piles are ready for installation as part of the Skyline Garage foundation work

Source: City of Fort Wayne