Details of planned boutique hotel unveiled

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) After a year of uncertainty, a development group has unveiled details regarding the construction of a boutique hotel in downtown Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, various elected officials, Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, officials from Provenance Hotels and community leaders gathered at Citizens Square Monday afternoon nearly a year after the plans for the hotel were originally announced to give further specifics.

The 125-room hotel is planned for the northwest corner of Harrison and Main. It’s expected to be five stories tall with restaurants, ground level retail space and a rooftop area for entertainment.

Barbara Bradley Baekgaard, co-founder of Vera Bradley, is working closely with Bashar Wali and his team from Oregon-based Provenance Hotels to develop the hotel. Provenance owns nine boutique hotels, each of which received 2017 Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, and just last week added a tenth property to the portfolio. Baekgaard will oversee the interior design of the distinctive hotel.

“For years, I’ve dreamed of bringing colleagues to Fort Wayne and providing them with a memorable experience, something unique to our community,” said Barbara Bradley Baekgaard. “Northeast Indiana has so much to offer, and our visitors and residents are well-traveled, they deserve a hotel that captures the spirit of the region and reflects our values.”

According to a news release from the City of Fort Wayne, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will consider a proposal to invest just under $4 million in tax increment financing at its November 13 meeting. The TIF dollars will reimburse loans from the Allen County Commissioners, the City of Fort Wayne and the Capital Improvement Board. The TIF funding is generated by property taxes paid by the new hotel, funding that would not be available if the hotel was not built.

The Capital Improvement Board will also consider a request to invest in the hotel, as will the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. All necessary approvals should take place by the end of the year with construction to begin in early 2018. The specialty hotel could open as soon as mid-2019.