Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp. has signed a letter of intent to lease research and development space at Electric Works, officials announced Wednesday.
The privately owned company makes precision wire for the medical industry. The strands – sometimes thinner than a human hair – are used in cardiac, dental, orthopedic and other medical devices.
Scott Glaze, president and CEO of Fort Wayne Metals, issued a statement about his company's decision.
“As we continue to be innovative leaders of life-saving, high-quality material solutions, we are experiencing a global increase in demand,” he said. “Our investment in facilities, research and talent will help build the infrastructure necessary to meet this demand, and we are excited to be able to establish a presence at Electric Works and take advantage of the unique resources and opportunities it offers our team.”
In October 2017, the company announced plans to invest $51.1 million and add more than 300 jobs to its northeast Indiana operations by 2021.
Fort Wayne Metals, which employs more than 1,200, has operations in Fort Wayne, Columbia City and Ireland.
Organizations that have already announced plans to occupy space in Electric Works include Parkview Health, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Indiana Tech and Medical Informatics Engineering. An Indiana University trustee told The Journal Gazette that IU is also pursuing a place there, possibly within Parkview's footprint.
Electric Works is a mixed-use development with 1.2 million square feet of space for office, educational, retail, residential, hotel and entertainment uses.
RTM Ventures, the developer, also has designated space on the 39-acre site to encourage research, development and synergy between tenants.
Jeff Kingsbury, a partner in RTM Ventures, said the former General Electric campus is the ideal place for employers to base innovation efforts, keeping them in northeast Indiana.
“From the beginning, we've worked closely with Greater Fort Wayne, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership and other organizations to ensure Electric Works plays a key role in supporting and strengthening the industry sectors so important to our regional economy,” he said in a statement.
“Thanks to companies like Fort Wayne Metals, northern Indiana has a well-earned reputation as a global hub for medical device companies and innovation in advanced material science,” Kingsbury added.