FORT WAYNE - The first phase of a major redevelopment project in downtown Fort Wayne will receive state assistance. The Indiana Economic Development Corp. has awarded a conditional tax credit for Electric Works, a mixed-use innovation district located at the former General Electric campus. The incentive is part of the IEDC's Industrial Recovery Tax Credit program, used to boost investment in the redevelopment of former industrial facilities.

Developers are projecting an initial investment of more than $213 million for the first phase of the project. As a result, the IEDC Board of Directors has approved a tax credit of up to the lesser of $50 million or 25 percent of the total investment. The developers will not be able to receive the incentives until they begin the investment in the redevelopment efforts.

"Quality of place is vital to economic development and will be a key catalyst to Indiana’s continued growth," said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. "The redevelopment of vacant industrial facilities is important to supporting urban revitalization and to creating vibrant communities across Indiana for Hoosiers to live, work and play. The reuse of the former GE campus is a bold vision and will be transformational in shaping the future of Fort Wayne."

Work on the first phase of the project is expected to begin in 2018. It will include a total of 616,000 square feet of office, educational, retail, restaurant, innovation, residential and recreational space. When the entire Electric Works project is complete, the district will be comprised of 1.2 million square feet of space among 18 buildings covering 39 acres.

The developers cite an economic impact study which showed the project could generate an estimated $219 million in state tax revenues over the first 20 years and nearly $400 million in annual economic impact. It is expected to support more than 2,800 jobs once it begins operation.

"We are grateful to Governor Holcomb and the IEDC for their support of this transformational project as we invest in the future of Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana," said Jeff Kingsbury of RTM Ventures, the developer of the project. "Fort Wayne is creating a nationally recognized, vibrant regional economy, and Electric Works will build on the history of innovation that is the legacy of this community to create jobs, and support Indiana’s economic development strategy."

Plans for the project were announced in February. RTV Ventures, a join venture of Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners LLC, Indianapolis-based Greenstreet Ltd., and Decatur-based Biggs Development, completed the $5.5 million acquisition of the property in September.

Don't forget to catch a special Fort Wayne Town Hall edition of Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick this weekend! For showtimes throughout the state, click here.