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Electric Works developers: mix of tenants have stayed loyal to project

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - Those managing the restoration of the city's abandoned GE campus into a commercial, office and retail complex insist it is not morphing into an industrial enterprise.

It was announced earlier this month that Do it Best Hardware was assuming the role of anchor tenant.

Conjure Coffee is set to lease two spaces in the Electric Works project.

Conjure Coffee, which has a shop at the Botanical Conservatory, is counting on specialty coffees being in demand at Electric Works.

The company will be renting a couple of spaces in the project.

"It's going to be a great extension of downtown, it's obviously a landmark for Fort Wayne, and to re-birth it in this way, there couldn't be anything better I don't think," said Conjure Coffee owner Corey Waldron.

The operators of the high-end restaurant Joseph DeCuis have committed to putting a fine dining location at Electric Works.

A year round indoor farmers market is slated to be a featured attraction in an area designated as a food hall.

Construction is expected to start on Electric Works in July.

19 tenants have signed leases or letters of intent to take up about a half million square feet, more than half the space available for rent.

The developers say questions about the project's viability earlier on did not drive anybody away.

"From the time that they've signed their LOI's, it could have been some of them two, three years ago, they've always believed in the vision for the project, they always believed that the project would come to fruition and their faith has been rewarded," said Kevin Erb, who represents the developers.

Educational entities like Indiana Tech and Fort Wayne Community Schools will have a presence.

That is also the case for corporate partners.

Fort Wayne Metals plans to do research and development at the site, Medical Informatics Engineering will run corporate offices from the complex, while Parkview Health will have a clinic and promote healthy eating habits in connection with the food hall.

Do it Best will occupy around 200,000 square feet alone.

The developers insist the notion that the anchor tenant will bring truck traffic and noise is off base.

"Once they realize it's not industrial, it's not warehousing, it's not distribution, it's the corporate headquarters for a global company, you realize, you know what, it's exciting," Erb said.

Electric Works should be complete and open to the public by mid-2022.

Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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