Capital Improvement Board Unveils Downtown Event Center Designs, Cost Estimate

Feb 16, 2017

The Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board unveiled schematic designs and cost estimates for a potential downtown event center Thursday morning.

In his 2016 State of the City address, mayor Tom Henry stated his interest in building an arena downtown. He reiterated this in his annual address Wednesday, noting the Capital Improvement Board’s work on what’s now being called an “event center.”

The Capital Improvement Board unveiled its findings Thursday.

The nearly 6,000-seat facility would be across from Parkview Field and next to the Grand Wayne Center, and would host things like concerts and indoor sporting events. It’s currently estimated to cost nearly $105 million, an increase from its projected $65 million price tag last March.

Capital Improvement Board member Steve Brody says the cost increase wasn’t surprising at this stage in the process.

“It’s really not until you start the design and what do you need in the building and those kinds of things that you can begin to refine not only the design but the cost that goes along with it,” Brody says.

Brody says the Capital Improvement Board will be expected to secure most of the funding, and he says filling any gaps in funding will be determined later in the process.

Mayor Tom Henry and Allen County commissioner Nelson Peters released a joint statement Thursday morning expressing mutual interest in exploring the project further.

In their statement, Henry says: “We’re encouraged by the positive momentum and excitement being experienced in Fort Wayne and Allen County. We’re fortunate to live and work in a thriving community that is well positioned as a point of destination in the Midwest.”

Peters added: “We are appreciative of the opportunity to partner with the City of Fort Wayne in reviewing any initiative that may enhance economic opportunity and the quality of life for the citizens of Allen County.”

The next step for developers -- which include Elevatus Architecture, Design Collaborative and Hoch Associates -- is to pitch their plans to the Allen County and Fort Wayne City Councils.