Electric Works' development team is honoring local history in the name of Fort Wayne's first food hall and public market, officials announced today.
Union Street Market, which is scheduled to open in fall 2022, references the local street that ran north-south in the late 19th and early 20th centuries through the exact location where the market will be housed, RTM Ventures said.
City officials ceded the section of Union Street to General Electric after 1911 as the manufacturer's campus grew.
Electric Works is the $286 million mixed-use redevelopment of the former General Electric campus just south of downtown off Broadway. The public-private project includes more than 700,000 square feet of space for office, innovation, education, health care, retail, entertainment and community uses.
Union Street Market, which will be in former GE buildings 20, 20A and 22, will feature soaring windows and garage doors opening onto an adjacent plaza. The market will offer a range of regionally sourced foods and beverages from more than 20 merchants in more than 37,000 square feet.
Jeff Kingsbury, a partner in RTM Ventures, commented on the developer's plans.
"Union Street Market integrates perfectly into the overall vision for Electric Works – rooted in history while striving for a future built in innovation, energy and culture," he said in a statement. "We're committed to partner with food entrepreneurs who share our passion for increasing access to fresh, healthy food and providing a truly unique experience for the community, and those who appreciate the magic of an authentic market environment."
Ted Spitzer, who is described as a nationally renowned public-market expert, has been hired as director of market planning and development. His resume includes work on iconic public markets in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Detroit, New York and Washington, D.C. The nearest example of Spitzer's work can be seen at North Market in Columbus, Ohio, and the Grand Rapids Downtown Market in Michigan.
"I'm excited to help the Electric Works team bring a world-class public market experience to Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana," he said in a statement. "This is a growing region, and it's an ideal time for a true food hall and public market – and Electric Works will provide the perfect location for it."
Spitzer will help curate an eclectic and locally focused mix of merchants for the market. Local businesses interested in learning more can go online to www.unionstreetmarket.org.
Tenants already committed to Union Street Market include Joseph Decuis, Conjure Coffee and the Ft. Wayne's Farmers Market. The farmers market will open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at its temporary home in McCulloch Park across Broadway from Electric Works.
More than 60 local and regional vendors are expected to participate in the Ft. Wayne's Farmers Market. The farmers market will add Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 7 p.m. to its schedule beginning June 16.