The city of Fort Wayne issued this news release today:
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry today saluted the $3.4 million in taxpayer savings earned through the recent refinancing of the Grand Wayne Center’s expansion and renovation debt. Current low interest rates allowed local officials to capitalize on cost savings applicable to the downtown convention center’s bond.
City of Fort Wayne and Grand Wayne Center officials were recently informed by public finance analysts that current competitive rates made this an advantageous time to refinance the bond, initially issued in 2003.
“The Grand Wayne Center’s expansion has been a powerful economic engine in our drive to energize the heart of Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Henry. “A vibrant downtown is key to making our community more attractive to the good jobs, talented workers and business investment that we need to thrive. Along with bigger conventions, thousands of additional visitors and hundreds of millions in economic impact, the $3.4 million Grand Wayne bond savings makes the people of Fort Wayne winners yet again.”
Members of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission were advised that a projected savings of $1.4 million could be achieved through the refinancing. Instead, the bond transaction more than doubled public-dollar savings to $3.4 million.
Prior to this action, the amount being repaid by the City, the Redevelopment Commission and Grand Wayne Center totaled $31.85 million. After refinancing, the amount being paid off is $25.13 million.The debt is scheduled to be erased by 2028.
The original bond was issued to finance the expansion and renovation of the Grand Wayne Center, making it Fort Wayne’s premier downtown convention center and a highly competitive Midwest event venue. The project included real estate acquisition, demolition, site preparation, environmental remediation and construction, along with the acquisition of furniture, fixtures and equipment. Aside from the bond, additional funding was provided by the City, Allen County, Fort Wayne Community Foundation and the State of Indiana.
According to Visit Fort Wayne data, the convention and tourism industry brings $466 million annually into the local economy, sustains 7,700 jobs and pays $13 million in local taxes.
The enhanced Grand Wayne Center was dedicated in May 2005.