The director of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission has responded to a list of questions from the Fort Wayne City Council regarding the commission’s decision to terminate an economic development agreement for the $280 million first phase of the Electric Works project. In a letter dated September 15, Nancy Townsend said the commission and Mayor Tom Henry’s administration remain committed to the redevelopment of the former General Electric campus.
The city council sent the questions on August 5, just two days after the commission unanimously voted to end the EDA. At that time, commissioners cited concerns that developer RTM Ventures was able to secure the private financing for the project, which would have added to the $62 million in public funds that had previously been committed.
“In terminating the prior Economic Development Agreement the Redevelopment Commission invited the prior developer to submit new alternatives to sustain the redevelopment of the site,” Townsend said.
The site is currently owned by RTM Ventures. However, Townsend said moving forward on the redevelopment of the GE campus “will require a new Economic Development Agreement with changes that can make the project more feasible and more affordable.”
Townsend said while the city is committed to the redevelopment of the site, it is looking at other developers besides RTM Ventures to move forward with the project.
“We want to hear, and have heard, from development parties and partnerships who are interested in redeveloping the GE campus,” said Townsend. “We have offered the Developer the opportunity to participate in an RFP process in partnership with a community partner such as (Greater Fort Wayne Inc.) to search for and identify a developer partner with the experience and resources to bring the project to fruition.”
The letter was sent on the same day the city council voted to approve a resolution to form a subcommittee to investigate the decision to terminate the original EDA, including the possible role the mayor may have played in the move.
The council said it offered the mayor the opportunity to answer questions about it, which the mayor declined.
You can view the full letter below or by clicking here.