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Developer plans $300M mixed-use project for abandoned GE campus

February 14, 2017

General Electric's 31-acre campus south of downtown Fort Wayne, which has been empty since January 2015, is set to be sold and redeveloped.

Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners has been selected for the project, which is estimated at $300 million, officials announced Monday.

The land is expected to be developed into a mixed-use innovation district that will include more than a million square feet of office, educational, retail, residential, hotel and community space, according to WANE-TV.

GE had operated at the site since 1911 and once employed more than 10,000 people producing a wide range of products, including electric motors and transformers, but the campus has become an eyesore since its closure almost two years ago.

A task force of residents and community leaders discussed ways to reuse buildings on the property instead of demolishing them. The site is likely to require some environmental remediation.

"I've never been sure that I'd see this," former neighborhood association president Charlotte Weybright told The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne. "I was hopeful, but with the massive size of the buildings and the number of square feet — well, I was hopeful, but worried. And now it's happened."

Construction could begin this fall. Plans include renovating and preserving buildings where possible, according to Cross Street partner Josh Parker.

Funding for the project includes about $41 million in private equity, $92 million in bank loans, $70 million in tax credits and other government incentives.

A tax-increment financing district will be created for the project.

"We are encouraged by this important step in the process toward the redevelopment of the GE campus," said Greater Fort Wayne CEO Eric Doden. "This project will transform the Broadway neighborhood, neighborhoods south and southeast of downtown, our community and our region for years to come."

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