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The Journal Gazette

  • This is an artist's rendering of a four-story, mixed-use building with a parking garage planned for 221 W. Main St. between Harrison Street and Maiden Lane. (Courtesy)

Thursday, November 08, 2018 1:00 am

Ashberry Eight applies to build downtown again


Ashberry Eight LLC plans to add another building to downtown Fort Wayne, according to an application filed with the Fort Wayne Plan Commission.

A four-story, mixed-use structure, including a parking garage, is planned at 221 W. Main St. The site is bordered by Maiden Lane on the west, Harrison Street on the east and Berry Street to the south.

The building would include a nearly 4,000-square-foot, one-story retail restaurant, with 612 square feet of outdoor space and a drive-thru, on the first floor of the Berry Street side.

A six-level parking garage with 379 spaces and access from Harrison Street occupies 155,216 square feet in the middle of the building. 

The West Main Street side includes 29,092 square feet of commercial space, likely for office use.

The application does not include the cost for the building. 

Among buildings associated with Ashberry Eight or its principals are the Ash Brokerage building at 888 Harrison St. adjacent to the new building and 202 Metro, formerly the Fifth Third Metro Center at 202 W. Berry St.

The 202 Metro building is now being converted into office, retail and upscale condominiums.

Plans submitted with the application appear to include property now the site of the meeting hall of Fort Wayne's Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

The nearly 100-year-old building was bought in June by 202 Metro investors for a redevelopment project, investor Tony Brita said then. 

Among the principals of the Ashberry Eight are Tim Ash of the brokerage, Brita and developers Barry and Brad Sturges.

Brita referred questions about the new building and the fate of the Odd Fellows hall to the Sturgeses, who did not return a phone call seeking information Wednesday.

The plan for a parking garage comes at a time when the city is involved in a downtown parking draft study that found parking in the downtown area was in shorter supply than might be expected.

The study found plenty of available parking downtown at night and on weekends but a lack of space during the day and big events.

Parking strategies based on the study remain to be developed but are expected soon.

The new building's announcement also comes on the heels of a mixed-use residential/commercial building called Hive at the northeast corner of Superior and Harrison streets. The development near Fort Wayne's riverfront development will have 150 apartment units and a 1,000-space interior parking garage.

The new building's development plan must have a public hearing and be approved by the Fort Wayne Plan Commission. Documents Wednesday did not list a date for the hearing, but it is likely to be set in early December.

The project does not require rezoning.