Electric Works aglow as tenant sign-ups increase

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A rendering depicts the redeveloped West Campus of Electric Works at dusk. CONTRIBUTED

By Lisa Esquivel Long
llong@kpcmedia.com

With the addition of Fort Wayne-based Three Rivers Music Theatre, the developers of Electric Works have made three tenant announcements within about a week.

“We had the final vote (on funding) with the Capital Improvement Board (in November), and since then we’ve seen an increase in the level of interest in the project,” said Jeff Kingsbury, managing principal of Indianapolis-based Greenstreet Ltd., part of the partnership redeveloping the former General Electric complex on Broadway. “…We were expecting this.”

Electric Works is a $250 million public-private partnership to redevelop the west side of the former General Electric complex at 1030 Swinney Ave. off Broadway to create more than 1.2 million square feet of space for office, educational, innovation, retail, residential and entertainment uses. Plans call for apartments and retail space that will include a public market/food hall and innovation space.

Fort Wayne Metals announced Jan. 9 that it had signed a letter of intent to lease space at Electric Works for materials research and development on the project’s West Campus. On Jan. 14, the organization behind the Fort Wayne Adventure Games — Sport Wayne Inc. — said it will build a year-round state-of-the-art climbing gym and adventure park at Electric Works.

Eventually redeveloping both sides of the Broadway complex will cost $440 million.

Currently, the focus is on removing lead-based paint and asbestos from the buildings.

Kingsbury, a Fort Wayne native who grew up on the southeast side of Fort Wayne in Village Woods, said the public-private partnership was necessary to get the project going because neither side could do it all on their own.

Who’s in so far

Three Rivers Music Theatre focuses on developing locally cast musical theater performance and education. It will use its Electric Works space for rehearsal, performance, and education – including its Triple Threat Performance Arts Academy, which provides arts education programs to hundreds of students annually.

Sport Wayne’s Rush Rock Gym will include about 30,000 square feet of climbing space, with an Olympic-sized speed climbing wall, an adventure zone for youth, and dedicated space for bouldering, parkour (moving quickly through an area), rappelling and zip lines.

Fort Wayne Metals Research Products Corp., 9609 Ardmore Ave., makes high-quality materials, precision wire, strands and cables, and component assemblies for medical devices and other applications.

“As we continue to be innovative leaders of life-saving, high-quality material solutions, we are experiencing a global increase in demand,” said Scott Glaze, president and CEO of Fort Wayne Metals, in a statement. “Our investment in facilities, research and talent will help build the infrastructure necessary to meet this demand, and we are excited to be able to establish a presence at Electric Works and take advantage of the unique resources and opportunities it offers our team.”

Parkview Health will move in as the anchor tenant, bringing with it a health clinic.

Medical Informatics Engineering announced in November that it plans to put some of its future northeast Indiana operations there.

Indiana Tech has also signed a letter of intent to have a presence there. It planned to have a meeting this month to talk more about its footprint on the site, said Brian Engelhart, spokesman. Indiana Tech wants to create an out-of-the-classroom experience in the innovation space and have students work with firms on the site, he said.

Fort Wayne Community Schools has also announced that it plans to have a presence at the complex.