Downtown Fort Wayne is poised to develop another large scale private-public partnership. Mayor Tom Henry announced plans Monday for new corporate space, housing, and retail.
The Ash Brokerage is set to move its national headquarters to the space at the corner of Harrison and Berry, bringing with it 200 existing employees, and hopes of adding up to 115 more in the coming years. Ash will invest nearly $20 million in the project.
Current renderings show the firm, along with a large green space, situated on top of a four story parking garage. Coupled with a condominium complex, and retail shops wrapping around the perimeter, the entire development would take up nearly an entire city block.
Eric Doden is head of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. He says this $71 million investment was a real team effort.
“This is a tremendous example, to me, what public-private partnerships should be about," Doden said. "This is a partnership between state government, it was a partnership between local government, and it was a partnership between [the] private sector.”
The plan calls for the city to contribute nearly $20 million, with the state contributing about $10 million of that. Investment firm Hanning & Bean will also contribute about $32 million.
Henry says the city is responsible for clearing the land in preparation for construction, including Cindy's Diner which is currently located on the lot. Henry says they will find another location for the petite downtown staple.
Construction is set to begin March 1st, and expected to take up to two and a half years.