In a unanimous vote today, the Allen County commissioners approved a deadline extension for the Electric Works project south of downtown Fort Wayne.
The approval, which was the last one required for the project to move forward, extends the closing deadline to June 30. The resolution, which pledged financial support for the development, was previously amended in November and set the project's financing deadline at April 30.
The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission and Allen County Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board also approved similar extensions this week.
Speaking to the commissioners, RTM Ventures' Jeff Kingsbury said this latest extension puts the project on track to meet the closing deadline for public funding. RTM Ventures is developing the $250 million renovation of the former General Electric campus.
"We believe that particularly with the leasing momentum that we've had – really since the beginning of the year – the most significant announcement being yesterday, that tenancy that we now have including about 18 other tenants brings us to about 60% pre-leasing," Kingsbury said. "That was really a key piece of what we needed to help us then secure the rest of the private financing that we need to get the project done."
RTM Ventures was joined Thursday by state and local officials, including Gov. Eric Holcomb and Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, to announce New Haven-based Do it Best Corp. has signed a letter of intent to lease nearly 200,000 square feet of space in Electric Works. That move will bring 440 existing employees to Fort Wayne.
Do it Best CEO Dan Starr said Thursday the company also plans to expand its employee base by 20%, or nearly 90 people, as part of the move, which includes up to $1.6 million in conditional tax credits from the state and up to $200,000 in training grants.