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COVID-19 will ‘likely’ delay finalized Electric Works deal, construction

6abc Electric Works tenant

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - The coronavirus pandemic appears to have pushed off finalizing a deal and eventual construction for a multi-million dollar project to revitalize the old General Electric campus in Fort Wayne.

The proposed transformation of the property off of Broadway would turn the empty campus into a hub of housing, food, industry and arts.

In a statement posted Tuesday on its website, Electric Works acknowledged that COVID-19 may very well pump the brakes on the project.

"Consequently, the global pandemic and its impact on the economy, financial markets and governmental operations likely will cause delay to finalize the Electric Works deal and commence construction," a statement posted on Electric Works' website shows.

"With our economy paused indefinitely, Electric Works’ long-term impact on our regional economy will be about more than jobs and investment. The innovation and entrepreneurship taking place at Electric Works will fuel northeast Indiana’s rise, recovery and renewal from this stall."

The statement said contracts with the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission contain provisions that anticipate unique outside forces, such as a global pandemic causing a delay.

Electric Works officials said via the statement that tenants and financial partners are still committed to the project, including anchor tenant Do It Best Corp.

Weigand Construction will continue its environmental remediation work of the property.

The developers of the Electric Works project have repeatedly asked government entities for deadline extensions to get private financing and letters of intent to lease lined up in order to qualify for $65 million in public funding.

At least 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.

Electric Works was previously expected to be complete and open to the public by mid-2022.

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Kayla Crandall

Kayla Crandall is an Emmy award-winning journalist. She serves as the Social Media and Digital Content Manager at WPTA. Follow her on Twitter @KaylerJayne.

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