FORT WAYNE – Considering all the delays the project has suffered over the years, an impending storm wasnt going to stop developers of The Harrison from celebrating the halfway mark of the downtown buildings construction.
Members of New Harrison, the team building the $18.5 million mixed-use development, joined with Mayor Tom Henry and other city officials in having a topping-out ceremony for the project. The ceremony marks the completion of the four-story buildings highest point of construction.
Simon Dragan, a member of New Harrison, said progress on construction has gone as well as hoped, with the building slated to be finished in six months.
The news today is easy to see, just look up, Dragan told a crowd at the projects construction site.
The development was dogged by delays as other parts of Harrison Square, such as Parkview Field and the Courtyard by Marriott, sprung to life. Last summer, Henry announced the creation of New Harrison to take over the project from Barry Real Estate, an Atlanta-based company that was supposed to have the building done in 2009.
During a ceremonial groundbreaking in February, developers said the hope was the building would be completed by next February. Chris Schoen, a member of New Harrison, said some tenants are now expected to move in before that date. Schoen, who now is a managing principal with Greenstone Properties, formerly was CEO of Barry Real Estate.
He said 3Rivers Federal Credit Union, which is taking 3,800 square feet of space on the first floor, expects to move in by Dec. 15. The Carson Boxberger law firm, which is taking the entire second floor, will move in by Jan. 15. The apartments on the third and fourth floors are to be open by Feb. 1, Schoen said.
Schoen said he was hoping to have had more retail tenants for Wednesdays announcement, but they were not completed. He said he expects the entire first floor will be leased by the time the building opens.
He said developers have leased more than 10 of the 43 available apartments, but the stairs were recently completed so tours can soon begin showing potential residents the views the building offers of downtown and Parkview Field.
People want to look and feel and touch, he said.
Mark Hagerman, CEO of The Hagerman Group, is the third partner of the development team, and his company is building the project.
The developers contract with the city calls for the project to be done 14 months from closing, which was in mid-January.
And while winds blew through the site during the ceremony, only a few raindrops fell.