GE campus to become ‘Electric Works’ in redevelopment

The former GE campus will be rebranded as Electric Works. (Courtesy rendering)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Fort Wayne’s iconic General Electric campus on the southwest side of downtown will be rebranded as part of its planned $300 million development into a mixed-use “innovation district.”

Goodbye, GE. Hello, Electric Works.

The project’s three development partners – Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners, Indianapolis-based Greenstreet Ltd., and Decatur-based Biggs Development – debuted the name, Electric Works, and its visual identity as part of a presentation at the annual meeting of Greater Fort Wayne Inc. Thursday evening.

The former GE campus will be rebranded as Electric Works. (Courtesy rendering)

Electric Works pays homage to the campus’ 100-plus year history in Fort Wayne. First named Fort Wayne Electric Works in the late 19th century, the multi-building plant was later renamed the Jenney Electric Light Company before General Electric bought the campus outright in 1899.

Fast forward more than 100 years, and as developers plan a multi-year project to transform the vacant and devitalized 31-acre campus into a district that will include commercial, retail and market, residential, hotel and community space, along with a tract for a university, that history figures to remain in the fabric. Developers said Thursday that the Electric Works brand identity will pull in historical design elements and treatments – as well as its primary color scheme – from General Electric’s heyday, and take inspiration from Fort Wayne’s history in innovation and invention.

“We see Electric Works as the ideal representation of the past, present and future of this place,” said Josh Parker of Cross Street Partners. “It has an important role to play in the future of Fort Wayne’s economy, and Electric Works captures its role as a hub of innovation, excitement and culture infused with the inventive history of Fort Wayne.”

Construction on the Electric Works campus, which encompasses 31 acres and approximately 1.2 million square feet across its 18 remaining vacant buildings, is expected to begin in 2018. Developers said Thursday that pre-leasing interest is “strong” on many of the project’s planned commercial spaces.

“This one-of-a-kind campus has a rich history – and an amazing future ahead of it,” said Kevan Biggs of Biggs Development. “As one chapter of its history closes, another one opens – and we are all excited to write that next chapter and move this campus forward toward its new life as a key driver of economic and cultural activity for Fort Wayne and all of northeast Indiana.”