Tuesday, January 29, 2008

West End Harrison Square Properties Bought

Records at the Wayne Township Assessor's Office show that National Oil & Gas Inc of Bluffton, IN has bought five properties directly across from the Harrison Square redevelopment project in downtown Fort Wayne.

The map below shows the area of the purchased properties bordered in red and the Harrison Square area bordered in orange.

The properties that have been acquired are 409 West Jefferson Boulevard and 1112 through 1122 Ewing Street.

The property tax cards for the properties can be seen by clicking the image below (PDF).

A property likely to be purchased next is J & M Auto Service located at 405 West Jefferson Boulevard. The purchase of that property would fill out the corner that is now mostly owned by National Oil & Gas, which is known for developing convenience stores and gas stations.

Those familiar with the area will know that a BP branded convenience store is situated directly to the west of the properties in question (the tell-tale canopy can be seen on the map above).

Could it be that National Oil & Gas is planning to place a convenience store next to an already existing convenience store? Would such a use be permissible under zoning codes and other regulations?

Would that really be the best use of the land adjacent to Harrison Square?

1-30-2008 noon-time update:

New Developments For The Harrison Square Project
Story Link (INC)
Video link
"There is some evidence today that the Harrison Square downtown development in Fort Wayne is indeed driving up land values near the baseball stadium project.

A local blog called "Downtown Fort Wayne Baseball" uncovered that a company out of Bluffton, National Oil and Gas Incorporated, has purchased five parcels of land just outside the western edge of the 130-million dollar Harrison Square site."


"Now one of the things National Oil and Gas does is build new convenience stores, but a spokesperson for that company told me today, he's not sure if such a store will be constructed on this land, or if they'll turn around and sell it to somebody else for profit.

Three of the parcels in question sold for an average of 94 thousand dollars a piece.

Those same parcels sold last time for between 38 and 55 thousand dollars each.

Proponents of Harrison Square, who claimed the project would drive up land values downtown, can point to this and say, "I told you so.""

1-30-2008 Evening Update:

Land Sales Suggest Higher Land Values Near Harrison Square
Link (INC)
"Fort Wayne City officials are both excited and nervous about the sale of five parcels of land near the Harrison Square project.

The deal suggests Harrison Square will drive up land values near the project, but it also suggests controlling development in the surrounding area will be an ongoing challenge.

National Oil and Gas Incorporated out of Bluffton paid about $450,000.00 for three homes and two empty lots on the western fringe of the baseball stadium development."


"Mark Becker/Ft. Wayne Deputy Mayor: " Obviously, long term we want to see more mixed use pedestrian oriented kinds of businesses and more housing downtown and so on, and that's been part of the planning that's gone on for the Harrison Square plan, but the zoning allows the kind of use that we assume they're proposing here and obviously, we'd work with them."

We want to emphasize National Oil and Gas has not committed to building a convenience store, the company would also consider turning around and selling the properties for profit."


C Ford said...

Would that really be the best use of the land adjacent to Harrison Square?

No. The thought of it sort of makes me sick.

bud said...

Behold the catalyst that is Harrison Square!

The sad part is that a lot of good young people bought into this project because it was sold as an effort for a vibrant downtown. It has always been about moving large amounts of public money into a few, favored, private hands. What is created in the process is secondary.

Maybe we should do a poll of all of the new condo owners at Harrison Square: Which better compliments "the Harrison" lifestyle, another stand alone fast food restaurant or another stand alone gas station/convenience store? If a discount, limited service hotel is the source of convention business, I'm sure a Kwik-E-Mart can sell lots of 300K condos.

Joe said...

If this is indeed to put a gas station/convenience store at that location...what a horrible waste of that land. Makes me sick also. It is not going to be an attractive or helpful addition to the area. This was a prime spot for something much better.

John B. Kalb said...

See my comments at post on this thread at FWOb. John B. Kalb

Jeff Pruitt said...

Maybe they can make it a combo gas station/Subway

Andy said...

I'm not overly estatic about a new Doc Ricker's being built on that corner, but it WILL be another private investment in our downtown core.

I too wish there could have been a mixed-use development or something better than a gas station/convenience store slated for that property. But the facts are otherwise. No other private developers are stepping forward with an alternative that I know of. Downtown FW is not a hot market - yet. My hope is little by little, investment will come and our urban core will start to become a dynamic and vibrant place to be.

Aside from Harrison Square, the hard truth is there has not been much private development happening in our downtown urban core for some time now. This is in the very least another step in attracting MORE private investment and encouraging development in our downtown core.

Scott B. said...

Tim Pape will give them a tax abatement for sure. This property might create a few jobs and more asphalt downtown.

It is permissible as well because CM5 did nothing about zoning some types of businesses out.

We all know that this will not be a multi-use facility or stick with the downtown design guidelines. It will be just another waste of useful land for real redevelopment.

boileraae said...

If this is really going to be a gas station, I'd hate to be the people who bought the biggest and probably costliest condos on that corner of the development. They already had a bedroom view that was marginal at best... now throw a gas station out there front and center! There's got to be a way to block that sort of development? Being on the corner at one of the corner entrances would be prime territory for a pub.

barranda said...

I look forward to Fort Wayne not having such a defeatist attitude.