Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pre-groundbreak Press

Let's hope they're right
Developers confident of success at Harrison Square
Link (NS)

"“If I wasn’t confident, I wouldn’t have taken the job,” said Brad Sturges of CB Richard Ellis, the local real estate firm hired to attract the restaurants, shops and other tenants needed to fill the equivalent of a small strip mall. “When this project succeeds, that will be its best defense.”

Sturges’ confidence will be tested as soon as Friday, when Martin Goldstine Knapke begins to accept deposits from would-be condo owners. Jim Irwin, the onsite retail/housing director for Atlanta-based Barry Real Estate Companies, doesn’t seem worried, either. “We have a waiting list of more than 160 people (who have expressed interest).”

Sturges and Irwin make similar arguments for their optimism. With its mix of housing, restaurants, shops, hotel and minor-league baseball stadium, Harrison Square will be unique. Add to that the number of people who are already in downtown Fort Wayne on a daily basis — as many as 28,000, Sturges said — and people will be willing to pay a premium to live or do business in Harrison Square."
"Sturges acknowledged local companies used to paying local prices might consider Harrison Square’s rents a bit steep, but said his company is searching nationally for tenants that would be unique in Fort Wayne — unique enough, he hopes, to attract businesses and customers alike to “one of the coolest projects in the country.”

No contracts have been signed yet — not surprising, Sturges said, given the opening isn’t until early 2009. But market research gives clues as to what kind of businesses the public would like to see in Harrison Square: a sports bar and microbrew, of course, but also perhaps a higher-end restaurant, fast-casual dining, convenience store, fitness center, financial institutions and specialty shops."
"As expected, young professionals have expressed interest in the condos. But so have so-called “empty nesters,” said Irwin, who predicted the “public’s perception (of Harrison Square) will start turning around as soon as people see things coming out of the ground.” If so, more condos will be built later."
Harrison Square Groundbreaking Today; Ballpark Will Be on Budget, Developer Says
Link (INC)
"Jim Irwin, who is in town from Atlanta, talked with reporter Jeff Neumeyer Wedneseday, ahead of the project's groundbreaking, which is scheduled for 11:30 this morning at Jefferson Blvd. and Webster St.

Irwin says the baseball stadium itself has undergone some minor design changes, but that the revisions would go unnoticed by the public.

The land where the development is being built is a muddy mess right now, but that won't stop the official groundbreaking from taking place."
"Despite the fact petroleum and steel prices have shot through the roof, Irwin insists that won't drive up the price tag on the stadium.

Jim Irwin/Harrison Square Developer: " We've been given a directive by the city to build a ballpark on budget and right now it is, and we're going to get it in where we're supposed to. Probably over 90 percent of the people we're using to design it, to build it, are local, and it's a great story for Fort Wayne.""
Harrison Square Condos Ready for Marketing to Prospective Buyers
Link (INC)
"Jim Irwin with Barry Real Estate in Atlanta says the 62-condos that will be constructed and put up for sale will include one-bedroom units starting around 150-thousand dollars a piece.

Jim Irwin/Harrison Square Developer: " They go all the way up to three-bedrooms costing somewhere around $350,000. There's a premium, obviously, for the ballpark side as we anticipate there will be quite a demand for that side.""
What About Memorial Stadium?
Link (INC)
"And while the Coliseum's board hasn't made any decisions, Memorial Stadium will more than likely be demolished.

It wouldn't happen until 2009, after the new ballpark is ready.

But what will happen to the commemorative bricks people bought to help build Memorial Stadium?

Mac Parker\Coliseum Board President: " There's a lot of people that obviously thought the stadium was going to be there a long time. And so maybe they can be incorporated downtown. But that will depend upon the construction downtown and other factors.""


Joe said...

Please get a Sports Bar in there somewhere. I like the microbrew idea too. My suggestion...Scotty's Brewhouse. They have them at IU and Purdue, and one in Indy also. One of my favorite places to go while on campus for food and spirits!