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Planners OK hotel, dorm, GE campus

September 18, 2018

In three 5-0 votes Monday, the Fort Wayne Plan Commission approved the economic development agreement for the upcoming Electric Works redevelopment project and primary development plans for a downtown boutique hotel and a new dorm at Indiana Tech.

The Plan Commission vote on the economic development agreement is the next in a multi-step process that involves the Fort Wayne City Council and Redevelopment Commission. The Redevelopment Commission approved the first phase in the process during its meeting last week. The City Council will review the agreement next, followed by a Redevelopment Commission public hearing and final vote.

Speaking to the staff, Don Schmidt, Plan Commission vice chair, said he had reservations voting on an agreement that he did not have time to prepare for. As is typical with other similar agreements, the document was not given to commissioners before Monday’s meeting, Senior Planner Michelle Wood said.

Schmidt and Commissioner Judi Wire agreed that similar documents in the future should be given to the Plan Commission ahead of the scheduled business meeting so commissioners have a chance to prepare for discussion.

The other two votes Monday were related to primary development plans for two new developments : one for the boutique hotel planned for the intersection of Main and Harrison streets downtown, and a set of new dorm buildings at 1400 E. Washington Blvd. : and passed with no discussion from commissioners.

The boutique hotel, being developed by Oregon-based Provenance Hotels and Vera Bradley co-founder Barbara Baekgaard, is expected to house 124 rooms with first-floor space for a lobby, bar seating, library and other active uses. Indiana Tech’s proposal includes restaurant and retail space, as well as multiple floors of school housing across two buildings.

No one spoke in favor or against either proposal during last week’s Plan Commission public hearing.

dgong@jg.net

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