The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission approved a request to add 10 feet to the Lofts at Headwaters Park project, along with an extension for closing on the project.

Joe Giant, redevelopment manager for the city of Fort Wayne, explained to commission members, all of whom joined the meeting by phone, that the $67.5 million project will need an extra 10 feet on the north boundary.

The six-story, mixed-use building will include more than 200 apartments, seven town homes, and a 900-space parking garage. It will be located on the current parking lot at Clinton and Superior streets next to Club Soda.

The extra space is needed in part because the exterior wall is near an underground combined sewer pipe, which would be economically unfeasible to move, so space to access it is needed. Also, floodplain regulations require a 5-foot buffer between the building’s foundation and the point where the elevation of ground slopes below flood grade.

Nothing has changed about the design of the building.

The space to the north means taking up some of the parking spots in an area used for Junk Food Alley during the summertime Three Rivers Festival. However, Giant said, with the reconfiguration it will actually mean an increase of 10 parking spots.

And no, Giant answered commission member Steve Corona, it shouldn’t take away space where food trucks park for Junk Food Alley and other festival events.

“The developer (Barrett & Stokely) likes the site because of the activity,” Giant said. “You don’t want to anything to compromise that.”

As part of the project, the developer will reconstruct all of the utility hookups, which now are underground and used by vendors’ trucks during the festival. Whether the hookups remain underground or go onto the wall of the parking garage, there will be no disruption of service for festival events, Giant said.

The land needed for the extra 10 feet is owned by the city of Fort Wayne. The redevelopment commission’s six members all approved the intergovernmental property transfer from the city to the city’s redevelopment department. The transfer must now get the approval of Fort Wayne City Council, which was expected to hear the request at its next meeting Sept. 14.

Because of the change needed, Giant said an extra two months was needed for the escrow closing date on the project. The new date will be Nov. 15.

The timeline originally announced for the project was completion of the garage in early 2022 and the apartments and commercial space in early 2023.

The commission also approved reimbursing to Keystone Realty the nearly $860,000 it would spend on making public improvements in the Keystone Industrial Park. Keystone Realty owns 8.89 acres at 330 Ley Road in the Keystone Economic Development Tax Allocation Area. Sturges Property Group approached the redevelopment department about redeveloping the Keystone Industrial Park in late 2020, and the tax allocation area was formed earlier this year.

Sturges will put up a shell building on the 8.89 acres for $3 million, which includes $859,873 in public improvements, including water, storm sewer and street restoration, that would become part of the city’s infrastructure.

The money would come solely from eligible incremental tax revenue from the Keystone area. Keystone Realty owns a total of 31 acres in the park, which would be developed with private funds during a second phase of the project.

Brad Sturges said the first-phase project can accommodate a range of sizes in potential tenants and expected to quickly fill the spec building. “There’s a lot of activity, obviously, in this area, which is good.”

The area has a wide mix of industries, including a number of construction supply companies along with sports facilities as well as a lab, medical supply and logistics companies.

The motion passed 4-2 with commission members Jason Arp and Nathan Hartman voting against it.

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