The Journal Gazette
Thursday, May 25, 2017 6:50 pm

'Electric Works' chosen as name for future GE campus

SHERRY SLATER | The Journal Gazette

Electric Works, a name that pays homage to General Electric and its former workforce, has been chosen for the $300 million mixed-use development planned for the former campus, the project's developers announced Thursday evening.

The name was unveiled during Greater Fort Wayne Inc.'s annual meeting at Memorial Coliseum. More than 400 members were expected to attend.

Artist renderings, logos and other branding elements developed in collaboration with local firm Ferguson Advertising were also shared at the meeting.

Josh Parker, lead developer with Cross Street Partners, has visited Fort Wayne and met with local leaders numerous times over the past year.

He has said the 31-acre development needs to reflect what makes the local community unique.

"We see Electric Works as the ideal representation of the past, present and future of this place," Parker said in a statement. "It has an important role to play in the future of Fort Wayne's economy, and Electric Works captures its role as a hub of innovation, excitement and culture infused with the inventive history of Fort Wayne."

Decatur firm Biggs Development, headed by Kevan Biggs, and Indianapolis firm Greenstreet Limited are partnering with Cross Street on the project. Jeff Kingsbury, Greenstreet's managing principal, is a Fort Wayne native.

Construction is expected to begin next year. Local firm Weigand Construction has already been named construction manager.

The developers announced Thursday that "pre-leasing interest is strong on many of the project's planned commercial spaces." No names were mentioned, however.

Parker has pointed to American Tobacco Co.'s campus in Durham, North Carolina, as an example of what Electric Works could become.

ATC's developers were able to qualify for bank loans because they lined up commitments from several commercial tenants.

Greater Fort Wayne's annual meeting also included a review of the nonprofit organization's accomplishments since its incorporation on Oct. 1, 2013.

The economic development organization, which also serves as a chamber of commerce, has more than 1,300 members.

During that time, the staff has met with more than 1,800 local and national businesses to offer assistance and promote Fort Wayne. Staff has also made 1,386 on-site visits to Allen County businesses.

Ron Turpin, Greater Fort Wayne's chairman, said the organization has placed increased emphasis on such meetings.

"In the last year, we upped our game on visitations by aggressively focusing national efforts around Indiana ex-pats who are entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and business executives," he said in a statement. "They love Indiana and many have shown a keen interest in being a part of this new wave of momentum in Fort Wayne."

Since it was formed, Greater Fort Wayne has assisted in 92 deals that promised a combined 4,638 new jobs.

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