Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry says Ruoff Home Mortgage could have chosen to move out of state as it was looking for a new headquarters location. Instead, the company is staying in the city and moving its corporate offices downtown.
The company announced plans Monday to build a $43 million corporate headquarters. Plans call for a nine-story structure at the corner of Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard.
The building plans include 100,000-square foot leasable office and retail space, as well as a parking garage. It will overlook Parkview Field, home of the Fort Wayne TinCaps minor league baseball team.
Henry says the city and company started working on this project about three years when Ruoff Chief Executive Officer Mark Music said the company was outgrowing its current location on Magnavox Way on the city’s west side. Henry said Music even looked at the possibility of relocating the company out of state but preferred to stay in Indiana.
“He and I had dinner sometime back and I told him that I would do all I could. And he said he would do all he could, and we had a handshake over dinner. And we neither one of us ever deviated from that commitment. So, he’s a man of his word,” said Henry.
The city says it is working with Ruoff to develop an economic development agreement. The construction project will also require approval from local governing boards before construction can begin.
In the joint announcement, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Ruoff Chief Executive Officer Mark Music explained the significance of the mortgage company to build its headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne.
“Having a nationally-recognized company wanting to call downtown Fort Wayne as home for their corporate headquarters sends a powerful message that Fort Wayne is worth investing in,” said Mayor Henry. “Public-private partnerships are making a tremendous difference in our community. We’re well-positioned for current and future success and even more investments by the private sector moving forward.”
Founded in 1984, Ruoff Mortgage now has 55 branches throughout Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Florida and employs 700 people.
“While we are proud of what Ruoff Mortgage has accomplished to date, we believe that our growth is still accelerating,” said Music. “We want to secure the future of our headquarters in Fort Wayne, and the ability to have a signature building in my hometown that continues the revitalization of our downtown is an important step in accomplishing this goal.”
Assuming the project receives necessary approvals, construction could begin during the winter months and take two years to complete.
In September 2017, Ruoff purchased the naming rights of the outdoors music amphitheater in Noblesville now known as Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center.
Mayor Henry says Fort Wayne has made a concerted effort to make its downtown a welcoming place for business.