AP NEWS

Indy firm behind downtown plan

February 26, 2019

The Indianapolis property management and development company Barrett & Stokely is the force behind a proposal for a mixed-use project near Headwaters Park, the company confirmed Monday.

The project is to be discussed this morning at a meeting of the Headwaters Park Alliance. The meeting will be attended by Barrett & Stokely’s Rex Barrett, in charge of the project, and festival planners concerned that a parking lot for vendors and patrons could be disturbed during construction.

The project has yet to be confirmed by city officials.  But Barrett said Monday afternoon that the company has had a memo of understanding with the city since last fall, although there is no economic development agreement yet.

The location is the parking lot north of Club Soda along the north side of Superior Street east of Lincoln Pavilion in Headwaters Park.

The company’s plan is to build a 300- to 500-space parking garage and a multistory building around and on top that facility, Barrett said. Included would be 200 to 225 apartments and retail space.

The company has been meeting with the alliance board and others because Barrett & Stokely wants to time construction to be considerate of Fort Wayne’s festivals, he said.

“Festivals are one of the reasons we are interested in Fort Wayne,” Barrett said, adding work on the project, should it be approved, would not start during this year’s festival season. The earliest work might begin is in the fall, he said.

Barrett said the company is bringing preliminary architectural renderings to today’s meeting, but project feasibility depends not only on city approvals but also geotechnical tests of soils, as the project site is near a river.

Barrett said the 44-year-old company is also involved in construction of a similar project along the Monon Trail in Carmel. That mixed-use project has an approximately 400-car parking garage with two stories underground, apartments and retail space.

“We’re excited about it,” Barrett said.

Last week, the city announced it was pulling out a development agreement for a project east of the still-under-construction riverfront pavilion. That agreement was with Continental Property Group of Wayzata, Minnesota and promised 1,000 parking spaces, apartments and retail.

City officials said Continental could not live up to the agreement financially.

Barrett commended Fort Wayne officials for its many development projects downtown.

“There are a lot of things that they’re doing that are pretty neat,” he said, mentioning Parkview Field and the riverfront project.

“From our perspective, the folks who work with the city, they really know what they’re doing. They’re unbelievably good to work with,” Barrett said.

rsalter@jg.net