Fort Wayne-based Do It Best Corp. has officially signed on as the anchor tenant for the $440 million Electric Works project in the city’s downtown. The state’s largest privately-held company will move its global headquarters to the mixed-use innovation district once construction on the project’s first phase is complete, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2022. As part of the move, Do It Best plans to add about 90 jobs over the next several years.
Jeff Kingsbury, a partner at developer RTM Ventures, tells Inside INdiana Business Host Gerry Dick they couldn’t ask for a better anchor tenant.
“They’re fundamentally business builders; they help entrepreneurs and business owners, not only throughout the United States in thousands of locations, but globally as well in 50 countries. So that’s what they do best is really help people build businesses and fulfill their dreams,” said Kingsbury. “But having them in one of the largest renovation projects in the Midwest makes a lot of sense from a mission standpoint, too.”
RTM Ventures says Do It Best will occupy about 200,000 square feet of space in Building 26 on the West Campus of Electric Works. The company will have the option of adding up to 20,000 square feet if needed.
“This lease signing demonstrates again our commitment to Electric Works and the team behind it – this transformational project provides us a unique opportunity to enhance and expand our already great team,” Do it Best Chief Executive Officer Dan Starr said in a news release. “I’m excited by the significant amount of progress the development team has made the past several months, I’m inspired by their vision for this project and its potential impact on our community, and I’m confident that we’ll be celebrating the start of construction on our new home very soon. I’m hopeful that our signing of the lease gives the project, which will benefit the entire region, every chance to succeed.”
Do It Best joins a number of other tenants for Electric Works, including Parkview Health, Fort Wayne Metals and Fort Wayne Community Schools.
Construction on the first phase of the redevelopment of the former General Electric campus is slated to begin this summer. Earlier this week, Fort Wayne-based Weigand Construction said it had secured all of the necessary construction permits for the project.
The project must still receive approval from the city of Fort Wayne under an economic development agreement with RTM Ventures. The developer announced it had secured the private financing it needed to move forward with the project. Once the agreement is approved, the developer will also receive $62 million in public funding for the project.
We’ll have more of the interview with Kingsbury and Weigand Construction CEO Larry Weigand on this weekend’s edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick.
Kingsbury says they couldn’t ask for a better anchor tenant.