City expected to announce new residential developer in Ash Project

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) People could be one step closer to moving into the Ash building downtown. According to our news gathering partners at the News-Sentinel, Mayor Tom Henry is expected to name a new developer to build the residential section soon.

Bill Bean, the original developer, backed out of the $30 million residential project a little over a year ago. He cited several delays in the project would increase his cost by around $500,000.

“The mayor initially said he hoped to have a replacement in January or February,” said Kevin Leininger of the News Sentinel. “Now in October, still nothing.”

Leininger has been following this story from the beginning. According to Leininger, the search for a new developer had been narrowed down to three for the past few months. But recently Leininger found out the name of the top contender.

“I’ve learned in the past week that Great Lakes Capital out of South Bend is likely the new developer and they will come and do a project much like Bill Bean talked about.”

Leininger said it took longer than people thought because they’ve been working on the financial aspect.

“They had their partner lined up, what really was the delay was putting together the financial packet,” he said. “Many projects in the downtown area have been delayed because of that very thing.”

Although plans have not been revealed, Leininger said the building will be 14 stories and will look similar to the original design.

“Whether it will be as upscale or what the overall cost may be I do not know yet. But obviously in the millions of dollars and several banks Mayor Henry told me are involved. Mayor Henry told me state tax credits and perhaps other funding.”

Leininger said the mayor will probably make the big announcement before next month’s election.

“If I were the cynical type I would think, oh what a surprise, one month before the election and we have a really great announcement to make,” said Leininger. “From what I can tell it’s simply happy timing for the mayor.”

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