Poll Shows 'Unprecedented' Electric Works Support

Posted: Updated:

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. has released survey results that suggest a high level of support for the planned Electric Works redevelopment of the city's old General Electric campus. The economic development organization commissioned the survey, which includes results from 600 respondents who live in the city or Allen County. It shows 86 percent of residents have a very favorable or somewhat favorable view of the 39-acre transformation.

GFW Inc. Board Chair Andrew Thomas says the results provide a confidence boost for stakeholders. "It gives us energy," he told Inside INdiana Business. "Sometimes this things take time, right? And we've been working pretty hard at it and you can sometimes second guess yourself. When a survey like this comes out, and you have 86 percent of the people in the county that were polled for it (view it favorably), what it does is it energizes you."

The project, which is expected to include private and public investment totaling $440 million, still needs funding approval from the City Council and other city and county bodies. The survey was conducted by Pittsburgh-based Campos Research & Strategy, and it showed what the executive summary of the results considered to be "some disturbing facts." It said over half of the respondents "were unaware of the fact that the Electric Works project cannot move forward without an additional $65 million in local funding." Once presented with this information, the authors say two-thirds of respondents said they supported using local, public funding sources like the Legacy Fund for the project. Mid-May, the city released a draft proposal to developers that outlined $62 million in city funding officials expect to put toward the project, much more than the $50 million Mayor Tom Henry had planned to push for earlier in the process. Days before the most recent draft was announced, the City Council approved a zoning hurdle involving Electric Works. In May, Electric Works developer RTM Ventures released results of a study it commissioned that said the massive project would help the city meet demand for housing, office and retail space.

GFW Inc. anticipates Electric Works will support over 1,900 construction jobs through two years of construction and lead to more than 1,500 permanent jobs and a $387 million annual economic impact after it's complete.

In May, GFW Inc. announced that outgoing Chief Executive Officer Eric Doden would turn the organization's responsibilities related to the project over to Executive Vice President of Economic Development John Urbahns. The first Electric Works employee, Managing Director of Innovation Crystal Vann Wallstrom, was announced in January.

You can connect to the full GFW Inc.-commissioned survey results by clicking here.

GFW Inc. Board Chair Andrew Thomas says the results provide a confidence boost for stakeholders.
  • Perspectives

    • (photo courtesy of Conexus)

      Getting the Word Out About Manufacturing & Logistics

      As the epicenter of the nation’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries, Indiana has a compelling story to tell about how Hoosier companies make and move the goods people depend on every day. Our goal is to ensure everyone hears these stories – many of which share a common theme focused on cutting-edge technologies that are transforming the way products are made and moved around the world and the people who use them. Conexus Indiana launched an...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Historic Hospital to be Torn Down in Gary

      A building that once represented the racial divide in the city of Gary, but long provided health care to the African American community, will soon fall to a wrecking ball. The city says it intends to raze the long-abandoned St. John’s Hospital. 

    • Photo courtesy of Indianapolis Motor Speedway

      Red Bull to Discontinue Air Race World Championship

      The Red Bull Air Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, originally scheduled for October, has been canceled as a result of Red Bull's decision to discontinue the Air Race World Championship following the 2019 season. The company says the races scheduled between June and September in Russia, Hungary and Japan will run as planned. 

    • On-Air

      Find out when and where you can watch and listen to our reports.

    • The Honda Greensburg plant opened in 2008.

      Honda to Invest $4M, Add Jobs at Greensburg Plant

      The American Honda Motor Co. continues to invest in its Greensburg, Indiana plant as it has announced the factory will be producing the company’s first electrified sport utility vehicle in the U.S. The company says it will invest more than $4 million and add 34 new jobs in the plant to support production of the CR-V Hybrid.  

    • Eleven Fifty was previously headquartered at Launch Fishers.

      Eleven Fifty to Cut Ribbon on New Location

      Eleven Fifty Academy will cut the ribbon on its new downtown location September 23. The nonprofit coding academy says it will host a grand opening ceremony November 6.