City seeks developer for downtown housing project

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The city is waiting for the right bidder before it can start a new residential construction project downtown. Pending negotiations, the multimillion dollar project would go right next to Parkview Field.

Justin Randolph, General Manager of Rudy’s, downtown, said the new construction project across the street is getting some attention from nearby neighbors.

“They’re looking forward to having more people down here and just kind of be the shining light on this end down here, because it’s been pretty dark for quite some time,” said Randolph.

The city bought and cleared the land along Ewing Street and Fairfield Avenue last year.

“It had nine, ten houses on it, several of them were condemned, it really was an area that was blighted for the most part,” said Greg Leatherman, Director of Community Development.

“Now that we’ve got a direct view of West Jefferson, being a new business, especially next to Parkview Field, I think in turn, no matter what was going to go there, I think it was going to be beneficial to Rudy’s,” said Randolph.

The $15-$20 million plan is to build new apartments with a preference of underground parking.

However, it’s not a grand slam just yet.

When the Redevelopment Commission seeked ideas from developers, it received five responses back.

“Some firms went to a great deal of effort to provide a very sight specific proposal. Others were much more generic and vanilla,” said Leatherman.

As the city goes into its second round of proposals, officials hope to eventually negotiate with the company they choose.

“We’re still excited and there’s a lot of interest and we look forward to be able to talk to developers one on one after this process is over,” said Leatherman.

The city will accept bids until April 21st. If it doesn’t get a response that meets criteria, it has to wait another 30 days to start negotiating.

 

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