FORT WAYNE - Plans for the $440 million Electric Works project in Fort Wayne have taken a significant step forward. Mayor Tom Henry and RTM Ventures have announced the city and development team have agreed on an economic development agreement that includes $62 million in local public funding.

The agreement calls on RTM Ventures to develop, finance, build and operate the project. The city had initially offered $50 million for the development at the former General Electric campus, but the developer said the project could not move forward without the extra funding.

The proposal will now go before the various local bodies that will need approve different elements of the project. The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will consider the agreement at its next meeting September 10. Other entities that will need to approve parts of the project include the Fort Wayne-Allen County Capital Improvement board, Fort Wayne City Council, Allen County Board of Commissioners and the Allen County Council.

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. has estimated Electric Works will support over 1,900 construction jobs through two years of construction and lead to more than 1,500 permanent jobs and a $387 million annual economic impact after it's complete. Developers say the 39-acre development will be a mix of "innovation, energy and culture" featuring education, residential, commercial, community and hospitality elements.

Mayor Henry says he's encouraged by the progress on the project, saying successful public-private partnerships "are critical to advancing our community and region as a point of destination for job and business growth, strong neighborhoods and...amenities that are attractive and unique."