Statement as issued Friday by the city of Fort Wayne:
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Because of the overwhelming success of the Anthony Wayne Building’s redevelopment, the developer no longer needs financial support from the City of Fort Wayne.
“The City pledged $1 million of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds to help jumpstart the development,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “That jumpstart worked; in fact, it worked so well, that the initial investment is no longer needed. That proves our case that the market for this type of downtown housing is there. The downtown dream is coming to life -- bringing new jobs, new residents, new businesses and new economic growth into the center of our city.”
Mayor Henry announced this week that the $1 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds that would have gone to the Anthony Wayne Building (AWB) project can now be used for future redevelopment initiatives. NSP dollars -- which are available through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) -- are used by communities to strengthen home values in urban neighborhoods.
“AWB Holdings, LLC would like to thank The City of Fort Wayne, Mayor Henry, and his staff for the faith and support they showed from the beginning in our project, with the award of the NSP funds for the revitalization of the Anthony Wayne Building,” said John Nichols, of RCI Development. “Without that early commitment, we were reluctant to proceed with the renovations to the building until we had firm sales commitments. Fortunately, our residential condominium buyers came sooner and in larger numbers than we ever anticipated, allowing us to decline the NSP loan award and privately fund the construction of our condominiums with conventional bank financing.”
“The new energy rippling through downtown Fort Wayne and the success of the Anthony Wayne Building proves that people want to be downtown and live downtown,” the Mayor said.
In addition to the pledge of $1 million in NSP dollars, the City of Fort Wayne also assisted the AWB development in obtaining $1.25 million in Community Revitalization Enhancement District tax credits. The tax credits are available through the State of Indiana for commercial developments in designated urban areas. The developers also received a $40,000 façade improvement grant financed by the City’s CEDIT (Community Economic Development Income Tax) dollars.
The funding pledged to support the Anthony Wayne development is now available for other local programs that strengthen home values in urban neighborhoods. The City has issued a Notice of Funding Availability and developers have submitted proposals for eligible housing developments and programs. Staff will review the proposals and make recommendations on spending the NSP dollars to the Housing and Neighborhood Service (HANDS) board at its next meeting. The board will meet Monday, July 9, 2012 at 11:30 p.m., on the Garden Level of Citizens Square.
“This is great news for Fort Wayne,” said Heather Presley-Cowen, deputy director of the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. “The success of the Anthony Wayne development is allowing us to get double the impact from the federal NSP dollars. Now, even more neighborhoods can benefit from this investment.”
The $1 million pledged to the AWB development was part of more than $7 million of Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds provided by HUD to the City of Fort Wayne in 2008. The $7 million allocation was strategically used to strengthen neighborhoods in several ways, including:
• helping fund develop more affordable residential rental housing, some of which was created by private developers in the Renaissance Pointe neighborhood and others which were created by Promising Partnerships, a collaboration of local non-profit agencies, and
• supporting homeownership programs that rehabilitate existing homes in the city’s core. All programs were designed to address local issues related to foreclosure by improving and stabilizing home values in neighborhoods near downtown.
A portion of the $7 million in NSP funding was loans and repayments on the loans brought money back to the City; these accumulated repayments totaled $1 million, which was available for the AWB project.