Weigand Construction welcomed more than 50 local companies interested in being a part of Phase 1 of construction at Electric Works to a meeting Wednesday morning. The pre-bid meeting enabled Weigand leaders to walk through the details of the construction process and how the project’s general contractor will solicit bids for a number of components, products and services. Companies interested in bidding on any aspects of the construction process were encouraged to attend Wednesday’s pre-bid meeting.
Joshua’s Hand, a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2013, announced the launch of its workforce development initiative, Joshua Works. Joshuaworks.org. Joshua Works is partnering with Broadway Redevelopment Partners and Weigand Construction to advocate for Minority, Women and Veteran Business owners for contractual opportunities on the Electric Works project. In addition, the Joshua Works initiative was created to recruit, cultivate, and train a viable workforce to address the unemployment and underemployment in the construction trades.
Earlier this summer, we were delighted to host correspondent Rebecca Nolan of the NPR podcast “Journeys of Discovery” for a tour and conversation. Listen to her story and experience here.
We are at a critical moment in the life of Electric Works and we need the support from our partners in the community now more than ever to make the vision of Electric Works a reality.
Since we began working on Electric Works 3 years ago, we have said this is a community project. And it has been, as demonstrated by the 91% of Allen County residents who voiced their support for Electric Works in a survey last year. It’s why we are working side-by-side with the economic development leaders that are charged with growing jobs and creating a nationally recognized economy in Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana. Electric Works has shined a national light on Fort Wayne and generated over 224 million media impressions with coverage from the Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, and The Atlantic.
In addition to national media, we’re working with national site selectors and national investors and lenders about investing in this community. We can report that investors and lenders, including large Wall Street capital sources, don’t readily see the potential of Fort Wayne that we see in Fort Wayne. We can change that.
It takes time, it takes commitment, and it takes a catalyst like Electric Works to increase jobs and wages. It also takes aggressive and bold leadership. The fight for talent and economic development is being waged on a global scale and we’re competing with other communities, each united in working to make them the best. Fort Wayne deserves that, too.
We’re not just telling the story of Electric Works; we’re advocating for Fort Wayne, its proud past and its future potential. It should go without saying that to realize our full potential in Fort Wayne, we all need to advocate for this community. There continues to be a small group of people in positions of influence and power, however, who are working aggressively to thwart the progress of this project and the potential of this community. Unfortunately, this has undermined our efforts, resulting in skittish investors and reluctant tenant prospects for Electric Works. To those that seek to stop progress out of your own fear of change, financial profit or political gain, we’re asking you to put the interest of this community ahead of your own and commit yourselves to support Fort Wayne in moving this transformative project forward.
Despite these efforts, we have made enormous progress with pre-leasing interest and commitments of significant federal and state financial support that leave us on the cusp of success. However, the innovation district strategy used successfully in so many other cities, with a public-private partnership and significant leasing and programs from multiple anchor institutions to drive innovation in partnership with business, needs to be a regional economic development priority for Electric Works.
Our assessment is that this project will not move forward without a change in these conditions. The national reputation of this community and the possibilities for its next generation are at stake.
We continue to believe in the people and potential of Fort Wayne and Northeast Indiana and are more committed than ever to overcome the challenges. We have recently engaged Eric Doden, the former president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and CEO of Greater Fort Wayne, Inc., as a consultant with a focus on reaching our construction start goal by November 1st. If it is clear that cannot be accomplished, Eric will work with us to restructure the deal or sell the property to make sure that everyone who has been on our team is made whole and that this community gets a catalytic project that it deserves. Anyone who knows Eric will attest that he will work relentlessly and passionately to ensure the success of this community and we’re pleased to have him join our team.
To the elected and appointed officials that have supported this project, to the business leaders and tenants that have thus far planned to create over 225 new jobs at Electric Works, and to the thousands of citizens that have showed up to public meetings, attended tours of the campus, participated in neighborhood meetings and community events to share your vision of Electric Works, and put signs of support in your yards, we’re grateful; we couldn’t have gotten this far without you. We’re also incredibly blessed by a talented group of local architects, engineers and consultants who have worked hard to deliver a great project and demonstrate Fort Wayne is a place for serious business and meaningful growth.
We want to again express our thanks to all of you in the community for your continued support, working alongside our team as we start construction of Electric Works by November 1st.
Medical Informatics Engineering has signed a letter of intent to open future operations at the former General Electric campus. MIE’s initial plans include an advanced research and development center, as well as a state-of-the-art “virtual presence” training center. It’s unclear how many square feet the company will need.
Source: Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission approved Monday an economic development agreement with RTM Ventures for Electric Works. It’s the first in a series of bars to be vaulted before $62 million of city funds can be harnessed to regenerate the campus.
The commission’s vote came just 12 days after RTM Ventures and Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry announced a funding structure to move forward on Electric Works.
See more about Monday’s vote.
Join us for our many upcoming events! Stay tuned for even more to come.