Councilors Express Concern on 'The Landing' Funding

Posted: Updated:
Work on The Landing began in February. (photo courtesy city of Fort Wayne) Work on The Landing began in February. (photo courtesy city of Fort Wayne)
FORT WAYNE -

The Fort Wayne City Council will this evening discuss a bill that could ultimately threaten funding for a more than $30 million mixed-use development project currently under construction. Two councilors have expressed concern over the bill, which requests $1.4 million for streetscape improvements at The Landing.

The council says the bill could possibly trigger a claw back of Legacy Funding previously approved by the council. In 2017, developer The Model Group Inc. was awarded a $2.5 million loan from the city's Legacy Fund, which came with a provision that no additional public funding would be requested.

Councilor Paul Russell Jehl, who represents the city's 2nd district, says the purpose of the claw back provision "was to insure that we have the ability to evaluate the total cost of a project before investing in it. We were assured that there would be no additional funding requested, so no public funds can be invested after the fact. Council should evaluate the streetscape proposal with caution."

However, Fort Wayne Redevelopment Director Nancy Townsend says the streetscape bill is not a part of The Model Group's project and was never a part of the Legacy Fund loans requested by the developer. In a statement provided to Inside INdiana Business, Townsend says the streetscape work is simply being done in conjunction with The Landing construction in order to avoid unnecessary excess costs.

Thompson's full statement: 

The West Columbia Street streetscape is part of the City of Fort Wayne’s comprehensive downtown streetscape plan, which will link the Arts Campus with the County Plaza, then The Landing and finally north to the Riverfront. It is appropriate to install this portion of downtown streetscape now while construction is underway, thereby ensuring the streets and sidewalks will not need to be re-built twice, costing additional dollars.

It is historically City government’s and the Redevelopment Commission’s responsibility to complete streetscape projects; sidewalks, roads, street trees are all public property and as such the infrastructure is designed and installed by City government.  The work is completed in conjunction with private projects in order to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible.

The West Columbia streetscape was never part of the Legacy loan requested by the Model Group because it is not part of the developer’s project. The scope of work outlined in the loan request was for the revitalization of seven historic buildings and the construction of one new building.

The streetscape work was bid through the standard public works process through the Fort Wayne Board of Public Works.

The council says the additional funding would be used to complete the streetscape work for The Landing and would come from CEDIT and Public Works dollars. The new bill, and possible revocation of previously-awarded funding, will be discussed at the meeting, which is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Citizen's Square. The meeting is open to the public.

Work on the $30 million development began in February. The project includes the restoration of seven historic buildings and construction of one new building. It will feature 70 apartments and 56,000 square feet of commercial and retail space. The project is expected to be complete next summer.

  • Perspectives

    • Tax Planning: Now’s the Time to Tackle It!

      Year-end is still months away, but smart investors have already begun their tax planning. Spending time analyzing your capital-gain situation could benefit you come next April 15th, no matter what investment vehicles you use - individual securities, mutual funds, exchange traded funds, or others. Here's how…

    More

Subscribe

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

Events



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Wesemann Hall at the Valparaiso University Law School (photo courtesy Tony V. Martin/The Times of Northwest Indiana)

      Valpo School of Law Transfer Denied

      A proposal to transfer Valparaiso University's law school to another university has been shot down. The Tennessee Higher Education Commission has denied the transfer to Middle Tennessee State University, which would have led to the creation of a College of Law at the school. 

    • Harris Corp. employs nearly 500 at its Fort Wayne facility.

      Planned Defense Mega-Merger Involves Fort Wayne Operation

      A defense industry contractor with a presence in Fort Wayne has announced a merger agreement. Florida-based Harris Corp. (NYSE: HRS) and L3 Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LLL) in New York say the combination will create the sixth-largest defense company in the country. In early-2015, Harris completed the $4.75 billion acquisition of Exelis, a long-time manufacturer of military radio technology in Fort Wayne. Shortly after the acquisition, Harris consolidated...

    • Zimmer Biomet Partnering With Apple

      Warsaw-based Zimmer Biomet Holdings Inc. (NYSE: ZBH) has announced a partnership with Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL) to assist patients undergoing knee and hip replacement surgeries. Zimmer Biomet has developed an app for the iPhone and Apple Watch designed to improve the connection between patients and their surgical care teams.

    • More Indiana Sears, Kmart Stores to be Cut

      Multiple Sears and Kmart stores throughout Indiana will be victims of the latest round of closures prompted by the parent company's bankruptcy filing. Illinois-based Sears Holdings Corp. (Nasdaq: SHLD) says a total of 142 locations will be shuttered as part of efforts to return to longterm profitability and competitiveness. Liquidation sales are slated to begin soon and the stores are expected to close by the end of the year. In its most recent earnings report, the company announced...

    • The Amazon Effect: How Big is The Economic Impact?

      Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, increased his net worth by $6.44 billion dollars just by saying a few words. He announced the company's earnings on October 26, 2017, and Amazon stock jumped 8 percent. How are you impacted by the Amazon Effect?