Electric Works earns national award as a model for urban redevelopment | Fort Wayne Electric Works

Electric Works earns national award as a model for urban redevelopment

Electric Works continues to generate national interest and recognition, with the most recent being an award honoring its successful redevelopment of a former General Electric industrial site into a vibrant mixed-use project.

Electric Works was one of 10 regional honorees as part of the 2023 Phoenix Awards, the premier national awards program celebrating exemplary projects in the redevelopment of brownfields, which are abandoned or underutilized properties where redevelopment is complicated by conditions that may be hazardous to people and the environment. Public-private investment in brownfield redevelopment in communities across the country has demonstrated extensive benefits, including community revitalization, sustained economic growth, environmental restoration and public health support.

Electric Works was recognized as the top brownfield redevelopment project for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 5, which covers Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. Representatives of Electric Works were on hand in Detroit at the recent celebration to receive the awards as part of the 2023 National Brownfields Training Conference taking place in Detroit.

“From the very beginning, Electric Works has been much more than just a real estate project – it’s a community and economic development project,” said Jeff Kingsbury, chief connectivity officer for Ancora, the project’s lead developer. “We are honored to accept this national award on behalf of the public partners – including the Indiana Economic Development Corporation, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Allen County, Capital Improvement Board, and the City of Fort Wayne – whose support was crucial in making the community’s vision for Electric Works a reality.”

“Under General Electric, this property was a vital economic engine and hub of innovation for our city, county, and region for more than a century,” said Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters. “Its redevelopment and rebirth as Electric Works honors that important legacy while positioning it as a vibrant new hub of innovation and economic activity.”

“We were happy to have been able to be in on the ground floor of this amazing project that will benefit our region for years to come,” added Commissioner Therese Brown.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said, “Electric Works is an important effort to redevelop our city’s historic GE campus into an innovation district. Electric Works is gaining national exposure and is now home to Amp Lab, Do it Best, Union Street Market, and many other businesses, creating a positive economic impact in our community.”

The National Brownfields Training Conference is the largest event in the nation focused on environmental revitalization and economic redevelopment. Held annually, the conference attracts over 2,000 stakeholders in brownfields redevelopment and environmental cleanup to share knowledge about sustainable reuse and celebrate the EPA brownfields program’s success.

 The Phoenix Awards reflect the progression of brownfield redevelopment over the past 20+ years by recognizing extraordinary practitioners and projects. Initially viewed by many as a niche activity, brownfields redevelopment has grown into a practice area of its own with public, private, and nonprofit practitioners across the country focused solely on brownfields as an essential function of planning, economic development, environmental quality, and community development. For more information on the National Brownfields Training Conference and the Phoenix Awards, visit the conference website.