The Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board announced Thursday that it has issued a request for proposals for the proposed downtown arena.
With plans to select an architectural and engineering firm to develop programming, conceptual and schematic designs by Aug. 1, the CIB is asking responses be submitted no later than June 22. Though the cost of the project has yet to be determined, some have estimated the arena seating 5,000 to 6,000 will come with a $65 million price tag.
"We’ll be putting the meat on the bones after one firm has been selected," said Steve Brody, chair of the request for proposal committee. "What they’re telling us now is here’s the work they would do, here’s the team of professionals that would be involved in it, and here’s what their fee would be."
The selected firm will develop the required designs and cost estimates. After that is complete, a determination will be made as to whether to move forward. The board doesn’t have any set criteria for what would make for a successful design.
"Obviously we’ll be looking for a venue that can host sporting events, can host entertainment events," Brody said. "We also think that if the design can be such that space in there can also be utilized by the Grand Wayne Center, that would be a plus."
Although specific amenities have not been determined, Brody said the board will be able to tell developers in general terms what it is looking for.
If the decision to move forward is made, construction on the arena could start as early as 2017, Brody said.
The city of Fort Wayne is pleased to see the effort moving forward.
"We’re encouraged to be in position to build on the momentum we’re experiencing in Fort Wayne," mayoral spokesman John Perlich said. "The city administration is a supporter of a multipurpose entertainment, sports and events center in our downtown. We’re looking forward to seeing the results of the RFP and what possibilities are ahead for our community and region."
Developers interested in submitting a proposal should visit www.allencountycib.org.