An update to the community on the impact of COVID-19 | Fort Wayne Electric Works

An update to the community on the impact of COVID-19

Many people have reached out to understand the impact of the global pandemic on, and express their support for, Electric Works.

Perhaps for the first time ever, the President and Governors have intentionally shut down the American economy to fight our shared enemy, the coronavirus. Key stakeholders we have been working with on Electric Works, including government agencies and financial institutions, have been understandably disrupted, necessarily focusing on this public health crisis and its unknown duration. Consequently, the global pandemic and its impact on the economy, financial markets and governmental operations likely will cause delay to finalize the Electric Works deal and commence construction.

Contracts such as our Economic Development Agreement with the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission commonly contain provisions that anticipate unique outside forces, such as a global pandemic causing delay. With our partners at the City of Fort Wayne, we included such provisions and are in regular communication with our public funding partners about the status of the project.

At the same time, our work and progress continue. Tenants and financial partners remain committed to the project; our anchor tenant, Do It Best Corp., remains actively engaged, working with us to make Electric Works the ideal place for its global headquarters and 400-plus employees. In addition, work continues in preparation for the start of construction. At a time when many residents are losing their jobs amid record unemployment claims, our partners in Fort Wayne and around the State of Indiana continue to keep their teams employed and actively engaged. We’re grateful for the hundreds of people for their continuing work and commitment to this project and this community.

Weigand Construction, for example, continues with environmental remediation work, while our dedicated team of Fort Wayne-based architects and engineers – Elevatus, Engineering Resources, Design Collaborative, MSKTD, Martin Riley, SCO Engineering, Viridian, and Hoch & Associates – continue to work under challenging conditions. We remain focused on the things we can control – and that includes engaging our many local partners and working diligently toward the start of construction as soon as possible.

Now more than ever, northeast Indiana needs the economic impact and opportunity of Electric Works, as one of the largest public-private partnerships in the State of Indiana. As soon as construction begins, Electric Works will be investing more than $200 million over the next 24 months. In addition, the construction process at Electric Works will help create and support approximately 2,000 jobs – meaning this project will play a pivotal and critical role in helping our economy recover and regain its momentum. Overall, Electric Works is expected to generate nearly $300 million in economic impact during construction – and almost $400 million in annual economic impact when the campus opens in 2022.

With our economy paused indefinitely, Electric Works’ long-term impact on our regional economy will be about more than jobs and investment. The innovation and entrepreneurship taking place at Electric Works will fuel northeast Indiana’s rise, recovery and renewal from this stall. Our research and educational partners – Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Indiana University Ventures, Fort Wayne Metals, Medical Informatics Engineering, and Parkview Health – will utilize Electric Works to accelerate northeast Indiana as a hub of innovation, job creation and economic momentum.

We’ll get through this. While the health and safety of the community remains our top priority, we remain with our public and private partners fully committed to satisfying the conditions of the EDA, delivering the community’s vision for Electric Works, and starting construction on this project as quickly as possible to help our economy recover, regain momentum and raise economic fortune and opportunity for all of northeast Indiana.