FORT WAYNE — Great Lakes Capital (GLC) will develop the residential component of the major development project in downtown Fort Wayne.
A development agreement between the City of Fort Wayne and GLC was signed on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and the financial commitments for GLC’s private investment are in place for the residential development to be known as “Skyline Tower.”
GLC is a real estate private equity firm with offices in Fort Wayne and South Bend. GLC will invest $40 million to construct 124 apartments, as well as retail and office space totaling 170,000 square feet. Retail will be located on the first floor, office space on the second floor, and 10 floors of apartment units.
“I’m encouraged by the momentum we continue to see in our downtown,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said. “GLC will be a great partner, and we appreciate their commitment to Fort Wayne as we work together to move our community forward in the right direction. Providing additional housing and retail opportunities in the heart of our City strengthens our position as a destination place for individuals, families, and businesses. We’ve done our due diligence to ensure the residential piece is reflective of the tremendous investments taking place in our downtown and community as a whole.”
Both companies, Great Lakes Capital and Bradley Company, have committed to relocating their offices into Skyline Tower, which guarantees nearly 70 professionals will occupy a substantial portion of the newly created office space. GLC will be utilizing Community Revitalization Enhancement Credits from the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and New Markets Tax Credits to assist with the financing of the project.
“Collectively, GLC and Bradley Company collaborate to build and manage long term,” Brad Toothaker, president and CEO of Bradley Company and Managing Partner of GLC said. “This project is the quintessential model of a public-private partnership with businesses and the community coming together to create a project that truly moves the needle for the region as it elevates the landscape of Fort Wayne’s downtown.”
The city’s investment toward Skyline Tower will be a $4 million bond and will require approval by the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission and Fort Wayne City Council. A timeline for those approvals will be finalized soon.
In addition, the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority is expected to consider Skyline Tower as part of the Regional Cities initiative. Following the necessary approvals that are needed, construction could begin in late summer-early fall. It’s anticipated the retail and office spaces will be completed in late summer-early fall 2017, with completion of the residential portion in late 2017-early 2018.
The announcement continues the progress being made at the downtown development site. Construction of the Skyline Garage is substantially complete. The west side of the garage will open Feb. 1 for monthly parkers from nearby properties who were moved to other parking areas due to construction of the garage and Ash Skyline Plaza.
Also beginning Feb. 1, the garage will be open to customers visiting the new Lake City Bank. The City is in the final stages of determining the timeline for when the garage will be open to the general public. It will likely be in the next 1-2 months. Portions of the east side of the garage remain a construction area.
Ash Skyline Plaza, the national corporate headquarters for Ash Brokerage, is on track for completion in May.
Ash Brokerage is the largest independently owned brokerage agency in the United States serving insurance agents, financial advisors, registered representatives and career agents nationwide. Ash’s investment of up to $29 million includes 95,000 square feet of office space.
In December 2013, Lake City Bank agreed to lease commercial space as part of the retail portion of Ash Skyline Plaza. Last year, DeBrand Fine Chocolates announced it will have retail space at Ash Skyline Plaza, as will a new restaurant, The Golden.
The Skyline Garage has 1,100 parking spaces. The garage will meet current needs, anticipated growth and future development in the downtown area.
The city’s investment of $39 million for the Skyline Garage component includes the construction of the parking garage, land acquisition, site preparation, streetscape improvements, utility upgrades, as well as other project enhancements. Funding for the city’s investment in the Skyline Garage component came from a combination of tax increment financing (TIF) funds through the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission,
Legacy funds, and support from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB).
No property taxes were used to fund the Skyline Garage.