The developers of the $440 million Electric Works mixed-use innovation district say the future of the massive project could be in jeopardy. In an open letter posted Sunday on the project’s website, officials from RTM Ventures said a "small group of people in positions of influence and power" are "working aggressively to thwart the progress of this project and the potential of this community."
The developers did not specifically name the people involved in the alleged efforts. However, they say the group has undermined their efforts, which has resulted in "skittish investors" and reluctant tenant prospects.
"To those that seek to stop progress out of your own fear of change, financial profit or political gain, we’re asking you to put the interest of this community ahead of your own and commit yourselves to support Fort Wayne in moving this transformative project forward," the developers said in the letter. "Despite these efforts, we have made enormous progress with pre-leasing interest and commitments of significant federal and state financial support that leave us on the cusp of success."
Electric Works has already received letters of intent for multiple tenants, including Parkview Health, the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp. and Indiana Tech, however the project has not secured a major anchor tenant. In an interview with the Journal Gazette, Josh Parker with RTM Ventures said their commitment to the project remains strong.
"We’re heavily invested, we care deeply and we want to get this done," Parker told the publication. "If we don’t get this done, Fort Wayne’s star is going to dim just a little bit, and it’s not fair. It doesn’t have to. I think there’s a sense of complacency, that it’s a sure thin. I think we all need to be eyes wide open."
You can read the full open letter by clicking here.
Late last year, Jeff Kingsbury from Indianapolis-based Greenstreet Ltd., which is part of the joint venture that created RTM Ventures, appeared on a special Quality of Life Projects Town Hall edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick to talk about Electric Works. You can watch the full interview below: