The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission has approved a fifth extension of the economic development agreement for the Electric Works mixed-use innovation district. The extension, which requires approval from other city and county agencies, has also received a thumbs up from Mayor Tom Henry.
The developer of the $440 million redevelopment of the former General Electric campus in the city’s downtown requested the extension after the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in finalizing the agreement.
The agreement provides $65 million in public funds for the project, however RTM Ventures is required to secure private financing and close on the deal before the public funding is released.
Per the terms of the extension, RTM Ventures would have until June 30 to finalize financing commitments and September 30 to close on the transaction.
“Allowing additional time for financing and closing commitments puts RTM Ventures in better position to move forward to take the proposed development to the next step,” Henry said in a news release. “We believe Electric Works can have a major impact in enhancing our community as a point of destination for jobs, attracting new residents, and providing unique quality of life opportunities.”
The extension must still be approved by the Allen County Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board of Managers and the Allen County Commissioners.
Last week, two Fort Wayne city councilors and one redevelopment commissioner sent an open letter to Henry and the other agencies requesting a denial of the extension. They said the funding would be put to better use by assisting small businesses being affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
Two days prior, RTM Ventures said while the pandemic has caused delays in securing the necessary financing and the beginning of construction, other work on the project such as environmental remediation remains ongoing. The developer said its tenants, including anchor tenant Do It Best Corp., remain committed to the project.