Thursday, January 31, 2008

From Redev

Mayor Tom Henry made an appearance at the public hearing of the Redevelopment Commission, welcoming new members and thanking those who had served previously.

All Commissioners were present except for Casey Cox during the duration of both the public hearing and the subsequent special meeting of the Redevelopment Commission.

The public hearing concerned the following item:

"Those speaking in favor / against the proposed lease by the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission of approximately 2.65 acres of real estate owned by the Norfolk Southern Corporation, generally described as east of Fairfield Avenue and south of Baker Street, all in the City of Fort Wayne, Wayne Township, Indiana. The purpose of the lease (approximately 18 month term) is to provide a staging area and equipment parking area for the Harrison Square Mixed Use Development Project."
There was no one to speak either for or against the item and the public hearing was then closed. The Special Meeting was then held.

Before any business was conducted, Commission President re-elect Christopher Guerin read the following statement into the record (click to read PDF):
Resolution 2008-03
Allowing the designation of property as an Economic Revitalization Area for B. S. Fort Wayne I, LLC in the Jefferson Illinois Economic Development Area
The Resolution is for the condo and retail portion of the Harrison Square project, granting a tax abatement to the Fort Wayne wing of Barry Real Estate.

There was some discussion amongst the Commissioners of whether residents of The Harrison would be able to get homestead credits because of the nature of the mixed-use development in tandem with an application for a tax abatement. The Commission attorney and Thom Obergfell felt that the residents would indeed be eligible if the unit in question was the homestead of the applicant and that qualification would be based on the use and not the zoning of the property.

The tax abatement was said to be for 10 years while creating 125 full time equivalent jobs for the 24,000 square foot retail component, at a payroll rate of $1.5M. The average annual wage was said to be about $12.4K and excluding food service, about $19K.

Possible tenants noted for the retail space were a wine shop, coffee shop, drugstore, gift shop, and restaurants.
Resolution 2008-05
Approving a proposed lease between Norfolk Southern Corporation, as Lessor, and the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, as Lessee, for land adjacent to the Jefferson Illinois Road Economic Development Area, as Amended, and ratifying the Public Hearing on the proposed lease pursuant to IC 36-7-14-25.2 and Ratifying the publication of Notice of the Public Hearing

This Resolution is for the establishment of a construction staging area on property owned by Norfolk Southern at a rate of $1100 per month for a temporary lease. The question was asked if the company might be willing to sell the land in the future but that opportunity was said to be not probable.
Resolution 2008-06
Approving a contract for professional architectural services with HNTB Corporation
The Resolution is for a contract to design a storm and ground water management system for the Harrison Square ballpark. The work of HNTB will be to determine the sizing of pumps needed to evacuate water from the playing surface of the ballpark. City utilities will overtake the operation of the water management system once completed.
Resolution 2008-07
Approving a contract for professional architectural services with LandPlan Group, LLC
The contract is for the design of streetscaping and landscaping of the concourses and areas around and outside of the Harrison Square project.


John B. Kalb said...

Chris Guerin needs to re-read the SBOA audit notes to Pat Roller's 2006 Audit report. This state agency sure did not "endorse as appropriate" the actions of our Redevelopment Department or Commission. In fact, Indiana Senator Kenley's Senate Bill 17 is a direct challenge to their actions - to close the loopholes that they used to avoid public challenges to their actions. John B. Kalb

Jeff Pruitt said...

Guerin should just be thankful that the forthcoming referendum wasn't already in place or the citizenry would've killed this project before it even started...

John B. Kalb said...

It is hard to believe that Barry Real Estate would come up with a name for their Fort Wayne division that makes fun of our city!! "B.S. Fort Wayne 1" !!!!
Maybe B.S. stands for something different in Atlanta, GA than it does in the rest of the USofA?
I really thought it was a misprint when I first saw it in your post, but today's News Sentinel repeats it - so, I guess it is how much Barry thinks of our town or at least how insensitive they are to the people thee are "taking for a ride" Thanks a bunch! John B. Kalb

scott spaulding said...

It stands for Barry Schoen, John, as in Hal Barry and Chris Schoen.

John B. Kalb said...

Scott - Is B.S. an abbreviation of the LLC listing as "Barry Schoen Fort Wayne 1"? If so, I understand - but if not, I still think it's a P.R. goof. John B. Kalb