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Responsible Use of TIF Funds in Fort Wayne

The following is a guest column by Nancy Townsend, Executive Director of the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission
Several recent academic studies of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) have put this economic revitalization tool into the headlines over the last few months. Scholars and public policy analysts have attempted to demonstrate the value, or lack thereof, of TIF in stimulating economic growth. And while this sort of state-wide analysis and dialogue is important and appropriate, I want to bring this discussion to the local level with some basic information about how TIF works here in Fort Wayne.

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Skyline Tower Fact Sheet

October 27, 2016 - The $40 million Skyline Tower project is the final piece of an overall downtown development initiative of nearly $110 million that features Ash Skyline Plaza, home to the national corporate headquarters of Ash Brokerage, along with retail office and commercial space and the Skyline Garage. The redevelopment of this previously blighted block is comparable to the investment in Parkview Field, the Harrison, the parking garage and the Courtyard by Marriott hotel.

The City of Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission is contributing proceeds of a $4 million bond, paid through tax increment financing (TIF) to the Skyline Tower.

The City of Fort Wayne’s subsidiary organization, Fort Wayne New Markets Revitalization Fund, closed and financed a $17.5 million allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits to support the new mixed-use Skyline Tower. This provided $5.9 million in equity to the project.

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Final piece of Skyline project is under construction

October 18, 2016 - Mayor Tom Henry today commended the beginning of construction on the $40 million Skyline Tower project in downtown Fort Wayne. The mixed-use development, led by Great Lakes Capital, a real estate private equity firm with offices in Fort Wayne and South Bend, features apartments and office and retail space along Wayne and Webster streets in downtown.

The project consists of 124 apartments, as well as retail and office space totaling 170,000 square feet. Retail, featuring a Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, will be located on the first floor, while office space will occupy the second floor, and floors 3-12 will accommodate apartment units.

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Public Invited to Community Engagement Meetings

Residents are invited to take part in public meetings and attend a documentary screening about the value of placemaking and engaging public spaces on September 21 and 22. The meetings will be led by the Gehl Studios, an internationally recognized urban design firm brought to Fort Wayne by the Knight Foundation Fund and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne.

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