The city of Fort Wayne has entered into a purchase agreement with Calhoun Investments LLC to acquire a 29-acre property described as an "important gateway into downtown." The deal for the North River property, valued at more than $4 million, could close by the end of the year.

The city says the property was previously used as a rail yard and scrap yard, dating back to the early 1900s. It has sat dormant since 2006.

If approved, the city would purchase the property in its current condition and would be responsible for any future environmental remediation. The city says it anticipates new private development opportunities on the property and once that future use is determined, the city will move ahead with the necessary site preparation and remediation.

"This is a tremendous next step in our ongoing efforts to ensure Fort Wayne is a point of destination for economic development opportunities, job growth and quality of life amenities that businesses and residents desire," said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. "We’re looking forward to what opportunities will be possible for private development as a result of the City having control of the North River property."

The Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board will next week consider the $4.63 million funding commitment to the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Authority to purchase the property. The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission and the City Council will also consider proposals related to the deal.

If all approvals are met, the acquisition would close December 1.