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The Scoop

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File / The Journal Gazette
Familiar view from Clinton Street.

Rifkin: All options have been exhausted for freight building

Statement issued Monday:

As a result of receiving an Emergency Order issued by the City of Fort Wayne’s Department of Neighborhood Code Enforcement on September 28th 2010, Calhoun Investments LLC has decided to proceed with the demolition of the old freight house building at the corner of Clinton and Fourth Streets.

The order states that “An inspection by the Department of Neighborhood Code Enforcement indicates the building referenced above is open and accessible and is unsafe within the meaning of the Unsafe Building Law 36-7-9-9, and is considered an immediate danger to life, safety, or property and has been declared an emergency.”

Concerns about safety and security had been two of the primary reasons for the original decision to demolish the building, previously scheduled for early May 2010. We had agreed to defer the demolition for at least 30 days, in an attempt to accommodate the few special interest groups that had expressed a desire to keep the old building standing. Out of respect and consideration for their interests, we agreed to make a last attempt to determine whether any viable sale or development opportunities existed.

Over the past 5 months, we have endeavored to do just that. We have met with potential buyers and developers to determine whether any of a number of potential ideas might be feasible. Unfortunately, we have had no offers to purchase the building, and no indication of serious interest from any developer.

Furthermore, not one of the special interest groups that placed such importance on preserving the building have tried to contact us with any ideas or funding options.

We have therefore concluded that the best course of action is to demolish the building. The issues of safety and security are clearly the most significant, however, it is also important to recognize that there is no economic value to be derived from the building, there is significant liability associated with it, all other related costs continue to increase, and there have been no bona fide offers to purchase or develop the site.

We believe that we have made every reasonable effort to pursue other alternatives, but have now reached the point where all options have been exhausted. We intend to maintain a cooperative dialogue with the City of Fort Wayne with respect to the longer-term development of the site, consistent with future plans for downtown development and expansion.

Daniel Rifkin

Calhoun Investments, LLC

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