Ruoff Mortgage has signed a letter of intent to lease space at Electric Works.
Headquartered in Fort Wayne, the largest purchase lender in the Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Kentucky combined markets is still determining which areas of its Fort Wayne operations will expand to Electric Works’ west campus when it opens in 2022.
While we are still formalizing the strategy around how that space will be utilized, we felt it important to make an investment in the community with this project, which has garnered incredible support and excitement,” said Mark Music, president and CEO of Ruoff, in a statement.
However, Ruoff won’t be going forward with the $43.5 million investment in a new corporate headquarters it had planned to build on a vacant lot at the southwest corner of Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard. The building would have included office and retail space and a parking garage.
Kim Murphy, director of communications and client relations for Ruoff, said unfortunately that plan didn’t work out. It was going to take too long to build, and they began to worry that the brand-new building wasn’t going to have enough office and parking space for Ruoff, which is “growing exponentially,” she said.
“The city will be looking to issue a request for proposals for the site that would’ve been occupied by Ruoff,” said city spokesman John Perlich. “Their growth has been occurring so quickly that the intended footprint for them downtown isn’t going to work. We do know they will be staying in Fort Wayne, which is good news for our community. We’ll be proactive in marketing the site as we look forward to seeing other entities look at developing and investing in the community.”
At one time the city talked about building a mixed-use project on the current “Silver Lot” at Parkview Field to be anchored by an 800-space parking garage. “We’re looking at our options for the Silver Lot,” Perlich said. “A final determination hasn’t been made at this time. We’ll be marketing that site as well to potential developers. Both the former Ruoff site and Silver Lot site offer promising outcomes for Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana.”
Currently Ruoff’s headquarters is on Magnavox way. It is still looking for new space for its headquarters, but it’s not going to be at Ewing and Jefferson, Murphy said.
Jeff Kingsbury of RTM Ventures, the development team behind Electric Works, said in a statement, “Ruoff Mortgage is a well-known brand and an incredible home-grown success story, and we’re excited to help Mark Music and Ruoff leadership team continue their growth and success here in Fort Wayne. Like many growing companies, they recognize the challenges in attracting, retaining and growing a talented workforce here – and like Do it Best and our other tenants, they also recognize the unique and critical advantages Electric Works offers them in meeting that challenge directly.”
Founded in 1984, Ruoff Mortgage is one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. Today, the company has more than 850 employees at its Fort Wayne headquarters and across nearly 70 locations in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Florida.