The estimated cost of redeveloping the local GE campus is more than most people can comprehend: $300 million.
But no one source is bankrolling the crumbling complex’s renaissance along Broadway, near Taylor Street. Instead, the developers are assembling a financial package that relies on public and private investment.
To make it work, about $90 million would have to come from local, state and federal sources, lead developer Joshua Parker said. Those sources, in turn, require that Parker’s firm, Cross Street Partners, put its own money at risk along with funds from investors.
In high-stakes economic development, almost every government group angles to be the last to commit grants, tax breaks, loans and other incentives to ensure projects have solid private-sector backing before public money is promised.
The same will likely be true for the 31-acre campus being referred to as Fort Wayne Electric Works.
The development initiative comes as at least 10 housing, commercial and retail projects – all needing funding – are proposed or under way in the downtown area.
Cross Street, a Baltimore firm, is partnering with two Indiana developers on the project: Decatur firm Biggs Development, headed by Kevan Biggs, and Indianapolis firm Greenstreet Limited. Jeff Kingsbury, Greenstreet’s managing principal, is a Fort Wayne native.
Each firm is committing cash to the deal and courting outside investors. Together, they will contribute 15 percent to 20 percent of the cost. They also will apply for – and guarantee – senior bank loans for 40 percent to 50 percent of the deal.