Statement as issued Tuesday by the Allen County Economic Development Alliance:
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (July 16, 2013) – In January of 2011, the Fort Wayne – Allen County Economic Development Alliance (The Alliance) began tracking requests for existing building space from potential new employers considering a location in Allen County. Requests were received directly through companies and site consultants or through partners, such as the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. The goal of this project was to better understand potential employers' needs regarding building structure. Over 125 requests were received and tracked.
With the information collected, it was found that the needs of growing companies trend towards an approximately 155,000 square-foot building with minimum ceiling heights in excess of 25 feet. Due to a lack of available building inventory, the Alliance was able to provide an existing building that only met 35% of the majority of company requirements. Furthermore, the Alliance was completely unable to provide any building options for 37% of requests.
To date, Allen County does not have an available stand-alone, modern industrial building between 60,000-750,000 square-feet with ceilings higher than 20 feet.
In late 2012, CME Corporation approached the Alliance and the City of Fort Wayne seeking support for the construction of a speculative building that would provide an option for companies interested in locating within the area. CME, working with industrial site owners Wayne and Carol Klink, will construct a 60,000 square-foot building shell that can be further built out to meet the needs of an end user company. The building has the potential to be expanded up to 120,000 square-foot. Representatives of Klink Group, CME Corporation, the Zacher Company, and the City of Fort Wayne will break ground during a ceremony on Tuesday, July 16 at 9:30 a.m. at the Hatfield Drive location.
"By gathering data for over two years, we have identified a serious gap in our inventory of buildings that allow us to attract employers to the community," said Ashley Steenman, vice president of business development for The Alliance. "We are pleased to have an added tool that will increase our competitive edge in the fight for what every community wants – jobs."
The building owners hope to fill the facility with an end user that aligns closely with industries currently targeted by the Alliance. Target industries include: Advanced Manufacturing, Food-Processing, Aeronautical, Communications and Defense, Financial Services, Life and Material Sciences, and Transportation and Logistics.
"We continue to see positive momentum in our City as we make investments to position ourselves for future growth and success," said Mayor Tom Henry. "We want to be a leader in attracting new businesses and jobs to our community. We recognize that having spec buildings in place makes Fort Wayne more marketable and better equipped to bring in new businesses to invest and grow here."
The Zacher Company will represent the property and work closely with the Alliance to fill the building with the desired industry employer.
About CME Corporation
CME Corporation, design/builder – general contractors designs state of the art highly energy efficient facilities, suitable for advanced manufacturing, defense, security, medical device, and food processing to offer creation of high paying wages to our community. For more information, visit www.cmebuilditright.com.
About the Alliance
The Fort Wayne-Allen County Economic Development Alliance began in 2000 as the lead organization for economic development activities throughout the county. We are a not-for-profit organization supported by Allen County, the City of Fort Wayne, the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority. The Alliance's goal is to further the base employment of Allen County through business retention, expansion and attraction projects. To learn more about the Alliance, visit www.theallianceonline.com.
In the spring of 2013, The Alliance joined with The Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce to become Greater Fort Wayne Inc., a new, not-for-profit business and economic development organization. Our aligned efforts are focused on growing a more prosperous, vibrant community. To learn more about Greater Fort Wayne Inc., visit www.greaterfortwayneinc.com.