Greater Fort Wayne Inc. to join GE campus revival group

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Economic development driver Greater Fort Wayne Inc. will join a task force formed to explore potential uses for the dilapidated General Electric campus near downtown, NewsChannel 15 has learned.

General Electric Citizens Committee Group Chairman Geoff Paddock confirmed the partnership to NewsChannel 15 early Thursday. Paddock said Greater Fort Wayne’s role in the citizens group will be to fund focus groups.

GE campus
GE campus

The group will gather in Room 30 of Citizens Square at 3:30 p.m. Thursday to discuss its progress and make future plans. The public is welcome.

The task force was formed to brainstorm ways to recover GE’s 30-building, 32-acre campus on downtown’s southwest edge, to reuse the buildings instead of tearing them down. The task force has said it fears GE will continue demolishing buildings which will lead to a drop in nearby property values.

With Greater Fort Wayne’s buy-in, the task force has a partner with leveraging power.

Paddock said over the next few months the Greater Fort Wayne-funded focus groups will work to gather information and prepare a comprehensive presentation about ways to repurpose the GE campus.

At that point, the groups will take their findings and make a presentation to General Electric officials, Paddock said. The focus groups will not only look at ways to repurpose the campus, but also possible funding streams to facilitate the ideas if they are approved.

Paddock said such ventures would take substantial private sector support.

The sprawling and now-dilapidated General Electric campus has been empty since February, when the last workers were moved after the company announced in January 2014 it would shut down operations in Fort Wayne and move out of the city.

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