People occasionally ask why the City of Fort Wayne is committed to revitalizing or enhancing our downtown. Here's what I tell them: I truly believe that a vibrant downtown is key to a strong Fort Wayne and a strong Northeast Indiana. Building a lively downtown is about making our community and our region more attractive to the good jobs, talented workers and business investment that we need to thrive.
That is why, on January 31, I joined with members of the New Harrison, LLC, development team to celebrate the official kickoff of The Harrison, the residential and commercial component of Harrison Square and the final piece of the signature downtown complex.
That day was significant because we commemorated the formal start of construction and the completion of financing for The Harrison. It also signalled the launch of a new marketing campaign for the development's 44 upscale apartments
In concert with PNC Bank as the lead lender, the private-sector developers closed on The Harrison's financing package in mid-January, in advance of the January 17 deadline for the conclusion of the New Markets Tax Credit portion of the pact. The finalization of funding paved the way for the full start of construction.
During the intervening months, the investors underscored their confidence in the project by carrying out preliminary work on site. These preparations are helping to accelerate the building process, keeping The Harrison on pace to meet its 14-month construction timeline.
The Harrison represents a one-of-a-kind setting in northeast Indiana. Its top two floors are dedicated to one- and two-bedroom units appointed with contemporary features and luxury finishes. Each residence showcases either a unique view of the downtown skyline or a front-row seat on the action at Parkview Field. Options for the luxury living complex, located on the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Ewing Street, start at $900 per month.
Along with the third- and fourth-floor apartments, the mixed-used building expands downtown's commercial options with retail shops at street level and distinctive office space on the second floor. Overall, The Harrison will encompass nearly 100,000 square feet of leasable space across its four stories.
So far, The Harrison has three confirmed commercial tenants:
•Carson Boxberger, LLP, a longstanding downtown law firm, committed to 24,000 square feet of space;
•3Rivers Federal Credit Union, a regional financial-services provider, taking 3,800 square feet of space; and
•O'Reilly's Irish Bar, an Indianapolis-based establishment new to northeast Indiana, booked for 4,000 square feet of space.
The Harrison represents an estimated $18.5 million private investment in the city core. This total significantly exceeds the $14.5 million outlay required by the City of Fort Wayne for this phase of Harrison Square.
The partners of New Harrison, who worked so hard to make this development a reality are Mark Hagerman, CEO of The Hagerman Group; Simon Dragan, president of Whitley Manufacturing Company and Chris Schoen, managing principal with Greenstone Properties. The other members of The Harrison's working team include: Design Collaborative, a local, downtown architectural and engineering firm that is serving as the project designer; and Hagerman Construction Corporation, a nearly century-old Fort Wayne construction company that is acting as the general contractor.
The Harrison is the finishing piece of Harrison Square, the flourishing downtown development begun in 2006 that has become a major economic-activity generator for the entire region. The private-public initiative is composed of the record-breaking Parkview Field, home of the popular TinCaps; a hospitality-sector boosting Courtyard by Marriott hotel; a convenient 900-space parking garage; and the scenic Robert E. Meyers Park.
With these milestones reached by The Harrison, we celebrate the growing energy and the growing opportunity in the heart of our city.