Cost for planned downtown arena spikes to $105M

Plan calls for 5,986-seat concert venue or 5,646 basketball arena

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) New renderings of a planned event center planned to rise in downtown Fort Wayne were released Thursday, and officials learned the cost for the complex has risen to more than $100 million.

New renderings of the planned event center in downtown Fort Wayne were released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Elevatus Architecture)
New renderings of the planned event center in downtown Fort Wayne were released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Elevatus Architecture)

Planners and architects behind a plan to build a downtown event center just west of the Grand Wayne Center Thursday morning presented their latest renderings to the Allen County Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board. The images show a shiny center with tall glass and brick exterior surrounding a large oval structure.

The plan calls for a 5,986-seat concert venue or 5,646 basketball arena for the Mad Ants team, The News-Sentinel reported. No agreement has been reached for the Mad Ants to anchor the development.

Along with the images, the Capital Improvement Board learned the new cost estimate for the event center has grown to $104.9 million. The News-Sentinel reported the ballooned price tag was due to an allowance for rising construction costs. Land acquisition would add additional dollars.

Developers will take the proposal to the city of Fort Wayne and Allen County next.

New renderings of the planned event center in downtown Fort Wayne were released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Elevatus Architecture)
New renderings of the planned event center in downtown Fort Wayne were released Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017. (Elevatus Architecture)

The city and county issued a news release later Thursday.

“We’re encouraged by the positive momentum and excitement being experienced in Fort Wayne and Allen County,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “We’re fortunate to live and work in a thriving community that is well-positioned as a point of destination in the Midwest.”

Allen County Commissioner Nelson Peters added: “We are appreciative of the opportunity to partner with the City of Fort Wayne in reviewing any initiative that may enhance economic opportunity and the quality of life for the citizens of Allen County.”

Henry and the county commissioners will review the designs and cost estimates to develop the next steps in the process “to determine if a downtown event center investment is in the best interest of the City of Fort Wayne and Allen County,” the release said.