The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 1:00 am

Construction set to begin at ex-GE site

Developer closed on financing for Electric Works

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Construction is set to begin this week on Electric Works after RTM Ventures closed Tuesday on $286 million in project financing, the developers announced.

Weigand Construction will create about 2,000 construction-related jobs while working on the west campus, which is expected to open in late 2022.

Estimates call for the work to generate almost $300 million in economic impact during construction and almost $400 million in annual local economic impact when the campus opens.

Josh Parker, a partner in RTM Ventures, said the developers are ready to make the community's vision a reality for the mixed-use redevelopment of the former General Electric campus.

“Getting to this important point took the collaboration, commitment and passion of many, many people,” he said in a statement. “We are grateful to our public and private sector partners for their continued support and belief in the potential of Fort Wayne and this project – and the profound positive impact it will have on the city, the region and the state.”

The developers are updating dilapidated brick buildings to bring them up to today's standards. Electric Works will comprise office, co-working, research, retail and entertainment space in addition to a food hall and public market, a STEAM high school, primary care clinic and pharmacy.

The west campus – the first phase – includes more than 700,000 square feet and is more than 60% pre-leased.

Tenants will include Do it Best Corp., Parkview Health, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Medical Informatics Engineering, Ruoff Mortgage, Fort Wayne Metals, IU Ventures and Indiana Tech.

The complex financial closing took more than three weeks and involved more than 100 legal and finance professionals nationwide, the developers said. They describe the project as having the potential to play “a pivotal and critical role in helping the local and regional economy recover and regain its momentum.”

Tim Ash, CEO of Fort Wayne-based Ash Brokerage and a partner in RTM Ventures, described Electric Works as “a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our city and our region.”

“2020 was a historically challenging year on many levels, and we are incredibly fortunate as a community to have a project of this scale and impact ready to go,” he said in a statement. “It is an example of how Fort Wayne is going to be a 'net winner' in attracting and retaining talent and creating new jobs.”

Sign up for our daily headlines newsletter

Top headlines are sent daily