The Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority on Tuesday approved nearly $7 million in funding for redevelopment of The Landing and $1 million to renovate Quimby Village's Clyde Theatre.
“We are developing national brand identity for Northeast Indiana. We know it will take creative and groundbreaking projects across the region to meet our goal of increasing regional population to 1 million residents. Fort Wayne’s vibrant downtown serves as the urban core of our region and today’s funding illustrates the critical role all of our regional counties play in the Road to One Million plan and our mission to attract and retain talent,” RDA Board Chairman Bob Marshall said in a statement Tuesday.
At a total cost of about $35.7 million, plans for The Landing call for a mixture of retail stores, restaurants and entertainment venues, along with office space and more than 70 residential units. The Landing requested $6,904,023 from the RDA, which amounts to 20 percent of the total project cost. The Fort Wayne City Council in January approved a $2.5 million Legacy Fund loan to support the project.
Construction at The Landing is scheduled to start in June and be ready for occupants by September 2018.
Located near the intersection of Bluffton Road and Broadway, southwest of downtown, the Clyde Theatre will cost a total of $5,030,000 to complete. Rick Kinney, owner of Even Keel Event Productions, which is renovating the vacant venue, is also in the process of attempting to secure a loan from Fort Wayne's Legacy Fund.
The Clyde Theatre closed for good in 1994 and has been vacant since, despite repeated attempts to renovate and repurpose the historic building. Supporters of the renovation believe remodeling and reopening the venue will breathe new life in to the Quimby Village shopping center
Both projects will now go to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation for review and final approval.
The Regional Development Authority will also soon consider a funding request for Phase 1A of Fort Wayne's downtown riverfront development project.
Delivering a presentation before the RDA Tuesday, Fort Wayne Park Director Al Moll requested $5,276,000 in Regional Cities Initiative funding to help pay for a planned public park and riverfront promenade along the St. Marys River. The park and promenade, which will be located on the river's south bank near the intersection of Superior and Harrison Streets, will be accompanied by a Tree Canopy Trail and trailhead with restrooms, on the north bank.
Northeast Indiana was one of three Indiana regions to be awarded $42 million through the state's Regional Cities Initiative in 2015. Projects funded are meant to be transformative, with the goal of attracting talent and population to Indiana. In addition to northeast Indiana, the Evansville area and South Bend region were also awarded funding.
Progress on Phase 1A has been moving forward in recent months. Final designs were approved Dec. 9 by the city's Park Board, which is overseeing the project. City Council approved a $10 million Legacy Fund request for Phase 1A on Dec. 13. On Feb. 8, a settlement was reached between the Park Board, Red Bird Properties and Cambray and Associates over eminent domain proceedings for property located in the selected area. As part of that settlement, Red Bird Properties will receive $1.3 million and Cambray and Associates will receive $850,000 for their respective properties.
The RDA could vote to approve or deny the city's riverfront request at its March 14 meeting.
In other business, the RDA voted to temporarily suspend review of new projects moving forward, citing a lack of funds.
"The Regional Cities funding that has been requested exceeds the amount we have available to disperse," said Michael Galbraith, director of the Road to One Million at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. "Until we resolve that, we will have to temporarily suspend the review of new projects."