The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission approved an economic development agreement for Phase I of a multi-phase mixed-use project called Village Premier in southeast Fort Wayne. The $55 million development will transform more than 20 acres of vacant, City of Fort Wayne-owned land located near the intersection of South Anthony Boulevard and McKinnie Avenue into a vibrant, walkable neighborhood.
Phase I includes more than 200 units of income-based housing and at least nine units of market rate for-sale single family homes at an estimated investment of almost $40 million. Future phases will include senior housing along with commercial/ retail space, daycare, health clinic, additional for-sale single family housing, and other public amenities.
“This project is a demonstration of the vitality and opportunities for significant private investment that exist in all parts of our community,” said Nancy Townsend, Community Development Director. “This is one more specific example, of the market demand and existing developable land in the Southeast area coming together for what will ultimately be a more than $55 million mixed-use project focusing on quality of life, place making amenities and connectivity.”
House Investments, an Indianapolis-area developer, will partner with Fort Wayne-based companies MKM Architecture and Michael Kinder & Sons to complete the project, which was originally announced to the public in July 2021.
“Village Premier will provide much needed additional housing units and community services to the southeast area of Fort Wayne,” said House Investments Chief Investment Officer, Matt Gadus. “The vision is to turn the currently vacant, underutilized land into a community asset which will increase the quality of life for not only the residents, but the surrounding community as a whole. House Investments is excited to work with the City of Fort Wayne and its local partners to bring the project to fruition.”
As part of the economic development agreement, the City will apply for additional funding in cooperation with the developer for the project through the State of Indiana’s Regional Economic Acceleration and Development Initiative (READI) program.
The City also plans to issue economic development bonds in the principal amount of $3.3 million, which will be repaid through tax increment financing. The bonds will require City Council approval, which is expected to occur in late summer.
“This is another example of the City of Fort Wayne investing in public infrastructure and neighborhood amenities to attract new private investment,” said Jonathan Leist, Executive Director of the Redevelopment Commission. “We are excited to be implementing key initiatives of the Southeast Strategy by moving forward with Phase 1 of this project and we look forward to the completion of the full project and the new amenities and investment over the next several years.”
In addition to this project, the City has supported revitalization of the surrounding neighborhoods through the investment of over $1 million in the construction of McKinnie Commons, a placemaking and recreational gathering space that includes a performance stage, food truck and vendor area, sitting areas, landscaping, and public art located immediately adjacent to Village Premier. McKinnie Commons is currently under construction and expected to be completed later this year. Construction of Village Premier is expected to begin later this year.