FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Mayor Tom Henry told members of the downtown Rotary Club Monday that Electric Works may be on the verge of locking down a critical anchor tenant for the major development project.
If it comes to fruition, that tenant could rescue the project from the scrap heap.
The mayor's speech to the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne happens every January, a few weeks before his "State of the City" address.
Henry told the gathering that the developers looking to transform the vacant GE campus into a $230-million "mixed use" project-- including offices, retail shops and places to eat-- are close to landing a large company interested in locating its headquarters in up to 200,000 square feet of space at the abandoned GE property.
"And they're very serious. Wouldn't that be something for downtown Fort Wayne. We're probably talking in the area of 500 jobs," the mayor said.
The mayor won't name the company involved, saying that it is doing its due diligence to make sure this is the kind of move it wants to make.
When we asked him if the company is from Fort Wayne or from out of town, he said this.
"Unfortunately, they made us all either sign an agreement or agree to confidentiality."
The mayor says if the tenant signs on the dotted line, expect a public announcement in a matter of several weeks.
"We've got this huge space that has been vacant, it has been an eyesore, and if you look at the renderings of what they anticipate that place looking like, that would just be an incredible asset to the downtown area," said Holli Seabury, the president of the Rotary Club of Fort Wayne.
The Electric Works developers currently face a February 1st deadline to line up financing and to have at least 250,000 square feet leased.
The mayor recently told us he's reluctant to extend that deadline one more time.
But his public comments suggest he may be open to giving the developers more time to try and close the deal.