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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, March 08, 2018 1:00 am

City takes step to create US 30 industrial park


After several years, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission is moving forward on making a highly visible, nearly 150-acre site along U.S. 30 into an industrial park.

The commission has applied to the Fort Wayne Plan Commission to rezone the site, which consists of farmland and woods across from the Sweetwater Sound campus, from single-family residential to limited industrial (I1) and business, industrial and technology (BTI) use.

Accompanying that request is a primary development plan that shows 15 lots ranging from just over 5 acres to just under 9 acres. The lots are arranged around three wetlands and three detention ponds.

The site's former owner is Hockemeyer Family LLC, New Haven, which asked that the site be annexed into Fort Wayne in 2014. But nothing was done about development until recently.

“Now is the time to do it. We're already getting calls to develop or sell it,” said Greg Leatherman, Fort Wayne's director of community development.

The land was acquired by the commission in three phases for about $1.8 million, he said. He added that the lots shown on the development plan could be combined, depending on the needs of interested businesses.

Leatherman said the park's uses would be similar to those in Summit Park II, which consists of about 113 acres between Washington Center Road on the south and Ludwig Road on the north in northwest Fort Wayne.

The newly proposed industrial park, referred to as U.S. 30 Corporate Park in application documents, would have 112.5 acres zoned BTI and 37.12 acres zoned I1 if the rezoning is granted.

The tract is bordered by U.S. 30 to the south, Flaugh Road to the west, Washington Center Road to the north and the Kruse residential subdivision to the east.

It's still unknown how many jobs businesses might bring or their level of investment in buildings on the site, Leatherman said. But he said the site should be desirable because of its proximity to Sweetwater and the location at Fort Wayne's western gateway.

Some Kruse subdivision neighbors objected to the annexation plans in 2014, saying they did not want the rural character of the area changed.

The rezoning and development plan will have a public hearing before the city plan commission at 6 p.m. April 9 in Room 35 of Citizens Square.