Vacant Fort Wayne Building to Become Health Center

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The Fort Wayne Common Council has approved a vacant building tax abatement for the development of a new senior healthcare facility. Avenue Development LLC says the project will cost $2.1 million and is expected to bring 37 new jobs to the city.

Mike Mattingly, a principal with Avenue Development, told the council the facility will also serve as a community center. The facility will be run by Chicago-based Oak Street Health, which Mattingly says focuses on healthcare for seniors on Medicare.

"They’re really a grassroots organization that’s serving the community and getting out into these communities in a different way," said Mattingly. "These are seniors that, especially in urbanized areas, don't have a lot of access to computers and maybe even phones. In the community center, they’ll have activities to teach them how to pay utility bills. They’ll have parties where they’ll offer bingo. In the winter time, they open up all their doors all the time to the public for warming centers for those in need. It goes way beyond the general healthcare of the individual."

Mattingly says Oak Street Health chose Fort Wayne because of the market they could serve. He added the new Rescue Mission facility, which is being built next door to Oak Street's facility, will not be competition, but rather an added benefit for the community.

The resolution for the tax abatement passed by a 5-3 vote.

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