FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Developer RTM Ventures and Mayor Tom Henry announced Tuesday that they have reached a tentative agreement to move the Electric Works project forward with the help of a co-developer and a new investor and general partner.
The Model Group, which developed The Landing, has joined RTM as a co-developer. Meanwhile, Tim Ash, CEO of Ash Brokerage, was named an investor and partner for the development on the site of the former General Electric campus.
A new economic development agreement is also being finalized for closing followed by construction starting. No timetable was provided, but the officials say they will start as soon as possible with a target of closing by the end of the year.
The Model Group, based in Cincinnati, is currently developing the Arcade in Dayton, Ohio, with lead developer Cross Street Partners, which is part of RTM Ventures.
The new partners will also provide funding and assistance to other areas of Fort Wayne. A total of $7.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits from UCAD, a Cross Street Partners affiliate company, will help create a new headquarters for the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra on the Perfection Bakeries site downtown. Also, Tim Ash says he will reinvest financial gains from his investment in Electric Works to southeast Fort Wayne.
“Electric Works presents the rare opportunity to revitalize a vacant and blighted remnant of the past by leveraging the historic buildings to create a mixed-use innovation district that will impact the economy of northeast Indiana,” said Bobby Maly, Chief Executive Officer of Model Group. “We look forward to working with Mayor Henry and to again partner with principals of RTM Ventures in our shared mission to positively transform communities.”
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that keeps our City moving forward and continues the momentum of positive development that has been taking place in downtown for the past several years,” said Tim Ash. “We know that 2020 has been a challenging year on many levels and getting Electric Works underway is an example of how Fort Wayne is going to be a “net winner” in attracting and retaining talent and creating new jobs.”
Electric Works, anchored by Do it Best, was in jeopardy after the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission voted in August to terminate the economic agreement between the city and RTM Ventures.