A newly-released study says the planned $440 million Electric Works mixed-use innovation district in downtown Fort Wayne is poised to meet demand for office, apartment and retail space. The study, commissioned by Electric Works developers RTM Ventures, says the former General Electric campus already serves as a regional landmark and the redevelopment of the property could strengthen downtown Fort Wayne.
The study was conducted by Maryland-based RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, which says there is a strong market depth for the office, residential and retail sectors in downtown Fort Wayne. Analysts project an overall demand for 700 downtown apartment units, up to 115,000 square feet of retail space at Electric Works and 650,000 square feet of downtown office space over the next five years.
Greater Fort Wayne Inc. says, according to the analysis, Electric Works can help satisfy those demands in several ways:
- The apartment space (approximately 90-100 units totaling 82,000 square feet) on the West Campus is projected to be fully leased approximately one year after project completion.
- The retail space (83,000 square feet including a food hall/public market) on the West Campus is projected to be fully leased within 1-2 years after project completion.
- The office space on the West Campus (224,000 square feet, plus 83,000 square feet of innovation space) is projected to be fully leased within 1-2 years after project completion.
"For months, potential tenant companies have been seeking us out, specifically looking for the amenities proposed at Electric Works," said John Urbahns, executive VP of economic development at Greater Fort Wayne Inc. "RCLCO’s market analysis confirms what we’ve been seeing firsthand—that there’s a demand for a project like this, and that Electric Works can be a transformational project for our entire region’s economy."
RTM Ventures is currently trying to secure $65 million in public funding for the project, though Mayor Tom Henry has proposed a $50 million investment. The developers are hoping to break ground on the first phase of the project this year.
The study was requested in collaboration with the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board. You can view RCLCO’s presentation of the analysis below: