The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) board of directors yesterday approved a conditional redevelopment tax credit to support the establishment of Electric Works, a mixed-use district of innovation, energy and culture.
Located in downtown Fort Wayne, the district will be a redevelopment of the former General Electric campus, which was founded more than a century ago and comprises 39 acres, 18 buildings and more than 1.2 million square feet of space. The incentive, which will be used for phase one of the redevelopment, is part of the IEDC’s Industrial Recovery Tax Credit program (commonly referred to as “DINO” credits), which is used to incentivize investment in the redevelopment of former industrial facilities requiring significant rehabilitation or remodeling expenses.
“We are grateful to Governor Holcomb and the IEDC for their support of this transformational project as we invest in the future of Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana,” said Jeff Kingsbury of RTM Ventures, the developer of the project. “Fort Wayne is creating a nationally recognized, vibrant regional economy, and Electric Works will build on the history of innovation that is the legacy of this community to create jobs, and support Indiana’s economic development strategy.”
DINO credits are available to owners, developers, and certain lessees of buildings located in an industrial recovery site which contains a building or buildings that are at least 15 years old; have at least 100,000 of total square feet; and are at least 75 percent vacant at the time the application is filed.
Based on an expected initial investment of more than $213 million for phase one of Electric Works, which is expected to begin in 2018, the IEDC board approved a DINO tax credit up to the lesser of $50 million or 25 percent of the total qualified investment. This tax credit is conditional, meaning that investment in the redevelopment must be made before the project is eligible to receive any incentive.
“Quality of place is vital to economic development and will be a key catalyst to Indiana’s continued growth,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. “The redevelopment of vacant industrial facilities is important to supporting urban revitalization and to creating vibrant communities across Indiana for Hoosiers to live, work and play. The reuse of the former GE campus is a bold vision and will be transformational in shaping the future of Fort Wayne.”
A recent economic impact study on Electric Works estimated the project to generate at least $219 million in state tax revenues over its first 20 years. In addition, the project is expected to create more than 2,000 construction and related jobs during its development and support 2,800-plus jobs during its operation. It’s also expected to generate nearly $400 million in annual economic impact once operational.
Electric Works pays homage to the campus’ 100-plus-year history of innovation and origins as the Fort Wayne Electric Works in the late 19th century, as well as its later iterations as Jenney Electric Light Company and, ultimately, General Electric’s Fort Wayne campus after purchasing it outright from Jenney in 1899. The project aims to honor the campus’ rich history in innovation and manufacturing through mixed-use development and the rehabilitation and redevelopment of many of the campus’s surviving buildings and structures.
RTM Ventures is a joint venture of Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners, Indianapolis-based Greenstreet Ltd., and Decatur-based Biggs Development; the team purchased the property in September. The first phase of the redevelopment project is expected to begin in 2018 and will represent an initial investment of more than $213 million.
The initial phase will focus on the west campus and will feature:
- 224,000 square feet of office space
- 113,000 square feet of institutional / education space
- 83,000 square feet for retail / restaurants and a food hall
- 83,000 square feet of dedicated innovation space / facilities
- 82,000 square feet of residential space
- 31,000 square feet of amenity / recreational space