Friday, November 2, 2007

Making It Happen

Under construction
After many contentious months, work starts on Harrison Square
Link (FWBW)

"But the pressure is still on to make sure Harrison Square is the catalyst for downtown redevelopment that Mayor Graham Richard has promised, with stores and restaurants filling the retail portion; residents living in all of its condominiums; a hotel with a low vacancy rate that enhances the Grand Wayne Center; and a baseball stadium that brings people downtown.
The city also battled accusations that the methods used to acquire land for the project and portions of its financing plan were illegal. Questions came from City Council members, residents and the media, and the project also was reviewed by state finance officials who had to approve and rate the city’s bond issue.
Not all of the plans are in place. The city continues to work on an agreement with the Embassy Theatre to allow a walkway connecting the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel to the Grand Wayne Center. The proposed walkway would pass through the theater and Indiana Hotel next door, and theater officials want to ensure it does not damage the historical features of the two buildings.

The walkway is important because hotel developer White Lodging Services has required it to go forward with the deal, and Harrison Square cannot be built without funds generated by the new hotel.
Negotiations continue with several groups interested in purchasing the naming rights for the $30-million centerpiece of Harrison Square, the new baseball stadium for the Fort Wayne Wizards.

Jason Freier, CEO of Wizards owner Hardball Capital, said he feels pressure “of all sorts,” including financial.

Hardball Capital is paying $19.5 million toward the stadium, retail and housing portions of Harrison Square.

“We’ve studied this a lot and we’re confident,” Freier said. “Nothing has happened in terms of the course of the last year that has lead us to believe that what worked elsewhere was not going to work here.”"


John B. Kalb said...

Leatherman: "Right now(the project) is a lot more in our control. We can execute the way we know how."
Greg - Shouldn't you have said, "The project has always been under our control - we even started to finalize the purchase of properties before we had the necessary Plan Commission and Common Council approvals to do so" and "We can execute the way we want to - with no oversight by anyone!"

I assume that you just "mis-spoke"

John B. Kalb

Anonymous said...


You are starting to remind me of the "monster" in the Friday the 13th and Halloween horror movies. You know the one that keeps coming back to life right when you think they are done once and for all.