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The development team behind Electric Works announced today that it has closed on $286 million in project financing. Officials say they will now invest more than $200 million alone over the next 24 months to redevelop the historic former General Electric campus.

Weigand Construction has already begun mobilizing for the massive redevelopment project that will ultimately create and support approximately 2,000 construction-related jobs. The project – first introduced back in 2017 when RTM Ventures acquired the property from General Electric – will play a pivotal and critical role in helping the local and regional economy recover and regain its momentum.

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The Allen County Board of Commissioners is closing out 2020 by making good on its financial commitment to the Electric Works project.

Commissioners wired the $3.5 million promised to the project’s developers just before the Christmas holiday. The county’s investment is in addition to the $1 million provided in the fall of 2018 so that remediation work could begin at the former General Electric campus site.

As early supporters of Electric Works, the Board of Commissioners is excited to see the project begin in earnest in 2021. “This project will have a sizable economic impact during construction and will help lead us to our fifth straight year of $1 billion in construction projects in Allen County,” the commissioners said in a joint statement. “We are glad to see business retention and expansion taking place, in addition to the new companies and jobs coming to our community.”

The first phase of Electric Works includes more than 700,000 square feet of space and offers office, innovation, education, healthcare, retail, entertainment, and community uses to create new opportunities for inclusive economic growth. The ultimate vision is for a well-conceptualized, mixed-use district of innovation, culture and community that is seamlessly integrated with other downtown development projects currently underway.

Source: Allen County Board of Commissioners

Electric Works has selected a nationally renowned leader in the flexible space industry to bring a unique and immersive coworking experience to the Electric Works Innovation Center.

RTM Ventures, the development team behind Electric Works, is partnering with Washington, DC-based Carr Workplaces – which manages nearly 30 coworking spaces around the country – to develop and implement a holistic coworking experience at Electric Works.

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Drawing inspiration from the country’s most successful urban markets, the Electric Works food hall and public market will be a mission-driven, actively managed and curated facility that will feature independent small businesses selling a range of foods and beverages – with a focus on products grown, produced and developed in northeast Indiana.

To ensure the food hall and public market remains focused on its mission and community impact, we’ve created the Electric Works Public Market Trust, a nonprofit entity that will provide a range of educational, fundraising and oversight functions in conjunction with the market management team.

Modeled on similar entities that support public markets in other cities – like the Reading Terminal Market Preservation Trust in Philadelphia, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market Educational Foundation and the Pike Place Market Foundation in Seattle – the Electric Works Public Market Trust will support and strengthen that market’s mission in a number of key ways.

These include:

  • Helping the market create a dynamic and inclusive space for employees, customers and the public
  • Supporting the farmers and food producers of northeast Indiana
  • Enhancing community wellness
  • Providing access to healthy foods
  • Leading community engagement efforts on behalf of the public market
  • Implementing education programs and partnerships

The Public Market Trust will be governed by a board of directors that will be as diverse and inclusive as the community it serves. It will include members selected by the Allen County Commissioners, Mayor of Fort Wayne, Fort Wayne City Council and RTM Ventures. Those board members will then select others representing key programmatic or philanthropic partners for a total board membership of up to 13.

As you can see, there’s going to be much more to the Electric Works food hall and public market experience and impact beyond vendors and products. And the Public Market Trust will play a critical role in ensuring that impact stretches far beyond the parameters of the market itself.

Ruoff Mortgage, the largest purchase lender in the Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky combined markets, has signed a letter of intent to locate a growing portion of its Fort Wayne-based headquarters team at Electric Works.

The company is in the process of determining which areas of its Fort Wayne-based operations will expand to the project’s West Campus when it opens in 2022.

“While we are still formalizing the strategy around how that space will be utilized, we felt it important to make an investment in the community with this project, which has garnered incredible support and excitement,” said Mark Music, President and CEO of Ruoff Mortgage.

“Ruoff Mortgage is a well-known brand and an incredible home-grown success story, and we’re excited to help Mark Music and Ruoff leadership team continue their growth and success here in Fort Wayne,” said Jeff Kingsbury of RTM Ventures, the development team behind Electric Works. “Like many growing companies, they recognize the challenges in attracting, retaining and growing a talented workforce here – and like Do it Best and our other tenants, they also recognize the unique and critical advantages Electric Works offers them in meeting that challenge directly.”

Founded in 1984, Ruoff Mortgage is the largest purchase lender in the Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky combined markets and one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Today, the company has more than 850 employees at its Fort Wayne headquarters and across nearly 70 locations in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Florida. For more information, visit ruoff.com.

About Electric Works

Electric Works is a mixed-use district of innovation, energy and culture, developed as a public-private partnership between RTM Ventures and the City of Fort Wayne. A redevelopment and adaptive reuse of the former General Electric campus, the first phase of Electric Works includes more than 700,000 square feet of space and offers office, innovation, education, healthcare, retail, entertainment, and community uses to create new opportunities for inclusive economic growth. For more information, visit the Electric Works website.

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