Local loans to fund Electric Works cleanup

A building on the east side of the Electric Works campus as viewed from Hendricks Street.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) A day after the first letter of intent to lease was signed, loans for cleanup of the old General Electric campus were approved.

“That campus employed north of 10,000 people,” Jeff Kingsbury, a managing principal at Greenstreet, a partner in the project explained.  “This cleanup is the first step of bringing it back to productive use and getting jobs back there.”

Aside from the occasional tour, the Broadway campus has been mostly quiet since the Electrics Work project was announced. That’s about to change. Visible cleanup set to happen in the first few months of next year with the biggest concerns being asbestos, lead paint and soil contamination. Analyzing of the land by local firms is already underway.

“There’s some cleanup that needs to be done and we’re appreciative of the local community’s support in helping us get that started,” Kingsbury said.

That support comes financially with loans approved by the Capitol Improvement Board and Allen County commissioners, totaling $3 million that match private funds. The loans come on the heels of the approval of $50 million in tax credits by the state. Eyes are now on the federal level.

“As tax reform begins to get settled, we now have a very clear way forward relative to federal tax credits and new markets tax credits which are also going to be important to the funding,” Kingsbury added.

As the funding gets into place, developers look for tenants. Indiana Tech was the first, but there are many more to go.

“We’re being really thoughtful and deliberate about the types of tenants we want to have on the campus… the chemistry of how all of these private enterprises and institutions work together is really important for these types of innovation districts.”