Electric Works Touts Tenant Interest

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Electric Works will be built on the site of the former GE campus in Fort Wayne. (photo courtesy Electric Works) Electric Works will be built on the site of the former GE campus in Fort Wayne. (photo courtesy Electric Works)
FORT WAYNE -

The joint venture behind the $440 million Electric Works development in downtown Fort Wayne says interest continues to build among potential tenants. RTM Ventures says it has "actively engaged" more than 100 retail and office tenant prospects for the mixed-use innovation district on the former General Electric campus.

The group says nearly 90 percent of qualified prospects are planning either new ventures or expanding their existing businesses at Electric Works. RTM Ventures says it has secured interest and letters of intent covering nearly 50 percent of the project's pre-leasing goal.

That number does not include letters of intent signed by Fort Wayne Community Schools or the Fort Wayne Public Market, which have not yet outlined their specific space and program needs. It also does not include the 70,000-square-foot Electric Works Innovation Space.

Indiana Tech is also among the new tenants, announcing in December plans to to lease 10,000 square feet of space in a more than 100-year-old building at Electric Works. 

"We know that there’s substantial interest from potential Electric Works tenants. We have had in-depth conversations with companies that are interested in 70,000 to 80,000 square feet of office and lab space to house 150-plus employees," said Andrew Thomas, board chair for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. "These employers would bring high-paying jobs and are specifically looking for a work campus with the amenities and collaborative environment proposed at Electric Works."

However, Thomas adds companies need to see assurances that the project will be completed before fully committing to leasing space in the district.

"The state and federal governments have offered their support. City Council and other local support is the critical push that will move the needle from ‘interested’ to ‘committed,'" said Thomas. "The Electric Works campus would give Fort Wayne a competitive advantage for talent attraction and retention. We cannot squander this opportunity to repurpose what is now a liability to our community into an asset that Fort Wayne can build upon for years to come."

The Fort Wayne City Council Tuesday approved a non-binding resolution supporting Electric Works. Our partners at WPTA-TV report developers are seeking $65 million in local public funds, through a formal request for funding is not being considered at this time. The council-approved resolution indicates a willingness to discuss funding requests as they come up.

Construction on the first phase of the Electric Works project is slated to begin this year at a cost of $213 million. RTM Ventures says the project is expected to generate nearly $400 million in annual economic impact when complete and at least $100 million in local tax revenues over the first 20 years of operation.

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