General Electric To Offer Fort Wayne Campus For Redevelopment

May 25, 2016

Credit Katy Anderson/WBOI News

Following months of discussion on how to repurpose the General Electric campus in Fort Wayne, GE is offering the site for redevelopment.

GE will partner with real estate services firm CBRE to conduct what they say will be a “detailed and comprehensive” proposal process with developers and investors. Proposals will be evaluated on qualifications, experience, vision, financial offer, and timely closing.

“At GE, we take the stewardship of our properties very seriously, and one of our core values is to meet the responsibilities of the local communities,” said GE communications leader Matt Conkrite of its decision to offer the site. “We felt that we’ve reached a point where it makes sense to explore redevelopment potential of the property by experienced third-party development professionals.”

The Fort Wayne campus has been closed since January 2015, leading local government, leaders and the public to discuss the future of the iconic spot. Conkrite says GE and Fort Wayne officials shared many thoughts and objectives on what that future could be.

“That includes thoughtful, appropriate and actionable use of the property that we know will benefit the Fort Wayne community and meet the needs of the local market,” he said.

Conkrite says he’s unsure exactly what types of proposals GE should receive, and that GE's primary goal is to simply evaluate the proposals, but he says he expects diversity in the ideas.

“It would have to be a development that would help move the city forward,” he said. “I think we’re going to be evaluating many different kinds of proposals over the coming weeks and months, but it’s hard to presuppose what those would be.”

Mayor Tom Henry’s office released a statement Wednesday morning. He says he's "encouraged by GE’s willingness and interest in having continued dialogue with my office and Greater Fort Wayne Inc. as we come together as a community to explore ways to redevelop an important corridor in the core of our City." Mayor Henry says he appreciates and supports GE's decision.

Proposal submissions from developers and investors are due in July. Conkrite says he hopes GE can settle on a developer by late summer or early fall. All proposals will be considered, but those focused on the entire campus will take precedent.