The Journal Gazette
Thursday, September 19, 2019 1:00 am

Promenade Park to get neighbor

Lofts developer has plan for adjacent empty lot

DAVE GONG | For The Journal Gazette

As residents enjoyed a balmy morning at Fort Wayne's Promenade Park Wednesday, city officials announced another new project planned for the empty lot directly across the street. 

Indianapolis developer Barrett & Stokely has been tapped to build a new $70 million mixed-use project at the northeast corner of Harrison and Superior streets – a lot that was previously designated for The HIVE, a mixed-use development proposed by Minnesota-based Continental Property Group. That project was abandoned in February after the developers failed to meet the conditions of an economic development agreement with the city. 

Barrett & Stokely is also developing the Lofts at Headwaters Park planned for the Club Soda parking lot near Headwaters Park. That project's primary development plan was approved by the Fort Wayne Plan Commission this week. 

Rex Barrett, the firm's executive vice president, said the firm is grateful to be in Fort Wayne and appreciates the trust the city has in Barrett & Stokely to develop the site. Barrett said the firm is a long-term investor in communities.

“We have other developments that we have done like this over the 44 years we've been in business, but I can honestly say we're probably more excited about this than anything we've done,” Barrett said. “The reason for that is what you see around you and what's going on in Fort Wayne. The momentum is clearly building; they've done an awful lot in the past few years and the city has changed dramatically.”

The new project, which features architecture that will complement Promenade Park, will include 225 apartments, a 900-space parking garage and about 30,000 square feet of office space. There will also be about 15,000 square feet of retail space and another 15,000 square feet of flex space, which is space that will be determined as the project progresses. That space could be retail, residential or another mixed-use type of space, mayoral spokesman John Perlich said Wednesday.

“It gives the developer flexibility to meet market demands/interests,” Perlich said. 

The project will be developed as part of a public-private partnership, the details of which have yet to be finalized. It's not yet clear how much – if any – city funding would be a part of the project.

Barrett & Stokely was one of five developers who presented a variety of mixed-use projects, redevelopment director Nancy Townsend said. The review committee for those proposals included members of the city Redevelopment Commission, city staff and representatives from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board, the Allen County Commissioners and Land Collective.

“It was a tough task. The projects that were proposed were all very dynamic. We couldn't have gone wrong, but this project did kind of rise above the rest,” Townsend said.

“We're highly excited about the interest developers have in riverfront and Fort Wayne, and it looks good for the near future and the long-term future.” 

Mayor Tom Henry said the new development continues Fort Wayne's momentum. 

“Having additional housing, office and retail options, as well as additional parking will certainly further our community's position as a point of destination for job growth, economic development, other development opportunities and unique amenities that highlight Fort Wayne as a great place to live, work and play,” Henry said. 

Construction is anticipated to start this year or in early 2020 and will take about 18 months to complete.

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