The Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board Thursday agreed to purchase a parcel of land near the Grand Wayne Center, known as the “fast food block.” Our partners at WPTA-TV report the board has approved a $200,000 payment to exercise its option to buy the $6 million piece of land.
The land is being described as “prime real estate,” as its proximity to the Grand Wayne Center could work for an expansion of the convention center.
The board also told the station it’s not ruling out an events center or arena being developed on the land.
The original arena proposal, which was scrapped in 2017, could be making a comeback. Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry last month said the arena may still be on the table, and this week told WPTA there may be a more cost-effective way to green light the structure. While the original project was projected at $105 million, he says it might be possible for a significantly lower price.
“But now there are some new designs that have emerged that have cut that cost about in half, so now perhaps it’s something that we can take a look at a little more seriously,” he said.
The deal has hit a standstill as the board waits to hear more information about a possible contamination issue on the adjacent property. The $200,000 has already been paid and is on hold until the Indiana Department of Environmental Management declare the land safe, according to WPTA.
“We’re going to make a good faith deposit, if we don’t get a satisfactory letter back from IDEM, then that would cancel the option,” CIB President Jim Cook told the station.
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