City closes on North River property; land studies expected soon

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) The city of Fort Wayne now owns the North River property just north of downtown Fort Wayne.

City spokesman John Perlich said Friday that the city closed on its $4.63 million purchase of the 29 acres across Clinton Street from Science Central that used to house an OmniSource plant Thursday. The buy was funded by loan from the Fort Wayne Allen County Capital Improvement Board, Perlich said.

The city’s purchase of the land drew criticism due to the uncertainly of the land’s environmental damage. City Council voted this week to approve the purchase of the land without knowing the particulars of the land’s issues, as environmental studies that had been performed on the land were confidential pending the sale.

With that now complete, NewsChannel 15 filed a freedom of information request on Thursday with the city to receive the environmental studies. Perlich said Friday that the information was being transferred into “readable documents” and that the city would release the information to the public once that’s completed, “likely be early next week.”

NewsChannel 15 will release those studies once they are made public.

The city announced early last month that it planned to buy the land to re-sell for future private development. In a statement, the city called the former rail yard and scrap yard “an important gateway into downtown.”

The land, with south views of downtown Fort Wayne, has sat vacant and empty since 2006.