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‘Future is now,’ Henry says in State of the City address

February 13, 2019

Speaking to a crowd of hundreds of Fort Wayne city employees, elected officials, candidates and residents at the Grand Wayne Center, Mayor Tom Henry announced plans today for a new residential tax abatement. 

“State law allows for this initiative and I would like to ask (City) Council for positive consideration of this neighborhood investment opportunity,” Henry, who is running for reelection this year, said during his annual State of the City address. 

Little is known about what the proposal will ultimately look like, as Henry said the proposal is still in the planning stages. The goal, Henry said after his speech, is to entice residents to invest in the community by buying homes. 

“There’s still some work to be done, so it might be a little while, but I’ll be talking to city council members to try to get their input as well, and then we’ll go from there,” Henry said. 

Much of Henry’s 30-minute speech was spent highlighting various downtown development projects, neighborhood infrastructure investments, public safety, job growth, economic development, parks and city utilities. 

Specifically, Henry pointed to Electric Works, Promenade Park, the Clyde Theatre, Superior Lofts and The Landing as examples of positive 2018 developments. Henry also touted 115 million in new annual payroll and 2,500 new job commitments from Fort Wayne companies, while celebrating a 3.5 percent unemployment rate. 

There’s more to come, Henry said. 

“I’m confident that in 2019, we’re going to see at least one additional mixed-use development and a national headquarters take shape in downtown Fort Wayne,” Henry said. 

The city also attracts 6.5 million visitors a year, Henry said, which equates to $741 million in economic impact and 14,000 jobs.

dgong@jg.net

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