Panel pulls $62M in funding for former GE site

By The Associated Press

FORT WAYNE — Fort Wayne's redevelopment commission has pulled $62 million in public funding for a project to redevelop a sprawling former General Electric complex in the northeastern Indiana city.

In Monday's unanimous vote, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission terminated an economic development agreement with RTM Ventures, thereby ending public involvement in the $280 million mixed-use redevelopment project south of the city's downtown, The Journal Gazette reported.

The move eliminates $62 million in public funding, of which $10 million would have come from the city’s Legacy Fund, for the project.

In an email sent Monday night, city spokesman John Perlich said the agreement is also nullified for the Allen County Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board and the Allen County Commissioners.

In a presentation to the commission, the city’s redevelopment director and an attorney said RTM Ventures was missing about $30 million in construction loan commitments and about $21 million in private equity.

As proposed, the project would redevelop the former 31-acre General Electric campus with new commercial and retail space. The site, which has been vacant since January 2015, once employed more than 10,000 GE workers who produced an array of products.

There remains a glimmer of hope for the project's supporters.

The Redevelopment Commission’s president, Christopher Guerin, said the city would still consider “any new or additional or other proposal” brought forward by RTM Ventures or another future developer for the site.

Perlich said the city and RTM Ventures would have to enter a new economic development agreement, with new funding commitments, if they did find a way to go forward.

RTM Ventures purchased the sites from General Electric for $5.5 million in September 2017.

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