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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 1:00 am

Public to get say on Tech, hotel proposals

College looks to construct 2 dormitories, 1 with retail

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne Plan Commission will hear details and members of the public can have their say on two previously announced projects during its September public hearing.

Developers of the boutique-style hotel planned for the corner of Main and Harrison streets downtown, now known as Fox on Main, have presented an application for a 124-room, five-story building.

Indiana Tech, which last month announced plans to expand its campus, is seeking rezoning and approval of a primary development plan for two dormitory buildings, one with first-floor commercial/retail space marked “proposed” and the other labeled “future.”

The proposed building is four stories tall at 1411 E. Washington Blvd., just north of campus. The building wraps around the corner of Schick Street. The future building is three stories and on the east side of Schick.

Indiana Tech seeks both rezoning from two-family residential to neighborhood center to allow the retail aspect and height waivers for both buildings – from 40 feet to 55 feet for the 44,000-square-foot proposed building and from 30 feet to 45 feet for the 22,500-square-foot future building.

Also sought is a waiver of setback requirements to make the new buildings fit in with existing Warrior Row buildings on the north side of East Washington. The applicant states there are more than a half-dozen buildings nearby, both on and off campus, that exceed the allowed height.

The application also states the buildings are situated so they will face campus and not nearby single-family residential neighbors. The application notes 100 rooms and shows 40 parking spaces, but does not specify if the numbers represent one or both buildings.

When plans were announced this month, Indiana Tech officials said they envisioned three retail spaces that could provide students and neighbors with food, coffee and meeting space. 

Construction was planned to start in October, with occupancy ready by the fall of 2019.

The hotel is being developed by Provenance Hotels, Portland, Oregon, with Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Baekgaard as a partner.

The company has proposed retail on the first floor of the hotel with a restaurant on a cut-out patio on the fourth floor at the corner of Harrison and Main.

The Plan Commission also will revisit a plan from December for 1907 Getz Road. Applicant Peter Bobeck of Fort Wayne had received a Do Not Pass vote for a plan for a 2,500-square-foot restaurant and/or retail business.

Cited were concerns about allowable commercial uses if the property were rezoned from single-family residential to limited commercial and potential traffic problems on Getz Road caused by the entrance.

The new application states those situations have been resolved by a redesigned entrance from Poplar Street instead of Getz. Developers also indicate they will sign a written commitment limiting uses to restaurants and cafés and professional services, including insurance, financial planning, banking and legal offices.

The public hearing will take place at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 in Room 35 of Citizens Square. 

rsalter@jg.net