Board approves funding for downtown land and ’boutique’ hotel

Rendering of planned boutique hotel

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Two major Fort Wayne projects got the OK from the Captial Improvement Board Thursday. The city is looking to buy 29 acres just north of downtown and build a new hotel at Harrison and Main Streets.

$4.63 million was approved to cover the cost of buying the land from Calhoun Investments LLC. The city wants to use the land to shop it for future private development.

The site was a former rail yard and scrap yard, but has sat vacant and empty since 2006. Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said the property, which the city called “an important gateway into downtown,” will be a private development opportunity.

$2.58 million was also approved to go toward construction of the 125 room, $27 million ’boutique’ hotel downtown. The hotel will be developed by Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Baekgaard and Oregon-based Provenance Hotels. Construction for that could start sometime next year, and finish in 2019

The funding is still pending a vote by Fort Wayne City Council. Both proposals are expected to be voted on November 28.