City names developer for The Landing

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The city has hired a Cincinnati firm to develop The Landing into a downtown gathering place.

The Landing
The Landing

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and the Fort Wayne Downtown Development Trust announced Wednesday that The Model Group has been chosen to redevelop The Landing along West Columbia Street in downtown Fort Wayne.

The city has eyed The Landing as a potential art district of downtown, and has said it hopes it will become a mixed bag of housing, businesses and entertainment. In The Model Group, officials believe that vision will be realized.

“Our choice of The Model Group represents the next building block toward a total renewal of The Landing, which will help cement downtown Fort Wayne as a place where people want to live, work, and play as a regional destination serving all of northeast Indiana,” said Mac Parker, Chairman of the Downtown Development Trust Board of Directors.

With 110,000 square feet available for first floor retail and entertainment and upper floor residential units, The Landing is ripe for redevelopment.

“We are going to come in here with the right financing package, the right tenants, and the right office and residential make that folks would want to be here,” said Steve Smith, CEO of Model Group. “That momentum then will spread to the immediately surrounding neighborhood.”

The city said Wednesday the overhaul will represent “the most significant mixed-use redevelopment of existing downtown property in decades.”

Steve Smith, CEO of The Model Group, discusses his firm's plans for The Landing on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.
Steve Smith, CEO of The Model Group, discusses his firm’s plans for The Landing on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016.

“We’re looking forward to The Landing project being one we can all be proud of and reflects the progress and momentum we’re experiencing in Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Henry. “What I foresee in the future is a very active place. We have a lot of millennials that live downtown. They’re looking for a place they can go to in the evening and congregate.”

Cincinnati-based The Model Group is an integrated property development, construction, and management company specialized in revitalizing urban neighborhoods, the city said. It was behind the redevelopment of the Cincinnati’s historic Over-The-Rhine community.

A development agreement between Downtown Development Trust officials and The Model Group is being finalized. Leaders hope work at The Landing site could begin in late 2016.

The city, along with the Downtown Development Trust, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to acquired seven buildings and two parking lots on The Landing to lay the groundwork for this rehabilitation project.

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