The Journal Gazette
Friday, June 07, 2019 1:00 am

New plant eyed for southwest

Planners get 2 other proposals


A major expansion of a food container-manufacturing business and a new housing option for seniors are planned for southwest Fort Wayne, according to documents filed with the Department of Planning Services.

Also proposed is an office expansion by Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. on its campus on Fort Wayne's north side.

The proposals come in the form of applications for consideration by the Fort Wayne Plan Commission. They are scheduled for public hearings at the commission's July meeting.    

Sabert Corp. of Sayreville, New Jersey, which makes plastic and composting-friendly containers for the food industry, has proposed a 289,000-square-foot building at 3511 Engle Road.

The location is south of another building now used by the company and formerly part of Mullinex Packages, which Sabert acquired in 2016. Sabert seeks rezoning of a portion of the site to limited industrial from planned residential and approval of a development plan.

The new building is described only as an “industrial factory” on planning documents, which provide no information about additional jobs or cost. Robert Karabinchak, a Sabert executive listed as the contact for the project on the application, could not be reached Thursday.

This is the second time in a little over a year that Sabert has expanded its Fort Wayne footprint. In March 2018, the company proposed a 189,000-square-foot advanced technology center at 7900 Ardmore Ave.

Prairie Landing is a mixed residential/commercial development proposed for 9019 and 9100 Illinois Road in Aboite Township by BHI Senior Living, doing business as The Towne House, Fort Wayne.

BHI is also identified in application documents as Baptist Homes Inc.

The development consists of 72 side-by-side duplex homes, one single home and three buildings labeled as multifamily residences of up to three floors. The development, on 61.5 acres, is arranged around a large pond and also has a clubhouse and two pavilions.

The developer seeks to have a portion of the site along Illinois Road rezoned to limited commercial to allow for businesses to serve the development's residents.

Amy Scheffer, Towne House executive director and project contact, did not return a call Thursday seeking information about the project's investment and the residences.

Brotherhood Mutual is seeking approval for an 84,770-square-foot office building addition on its campus at 6400 Brotherhood Way. Besides approval of a development plan, the company seeks two waivers of development standards to allow the building's taller height and larger footprint.

The waivers would allow the new building to the south and west of an existing building to rise to 46 feet instead of 40 feet as specified in the site's limited commercial zoning classification. 

The building is in an airport overlay district for Smith Field where the Federal Aviation Administration allows buildings of up to 50 feet, the application points out.

The company justifies the plan by saying the building is designed to the same height as the existing building and has a smaller footprint than if it had been only one story. The design allows for more green space and a smaller area for stormwater management, the application states.

“If the waiver of allowable square footage is not (approved), Brotherhood Mutual would be forced to relocate the office, which may negatively affect both the business and the region as a whole,” according to the application documents.

Brotherhood's Michael Allison, listed as a contact on the application, did not return a call seeking the cost and other information about the project. 

The three projects are among those that will have their public hearings at 5:30 p.m. July 8 in Room 35 of Citizens Square.

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