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Digging Deeper: Docs provide big clue on ‘Project Mastodon’ ahead of Monday hearing

Project Mastodon schematic

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - A public hearing is set for Monday on a proposal that would build something massive -- no one is confirming just what -- along US 30 in western Allen County.

But documents filed in February and newly reviewed by ABC21 strongly suggest the facility will serve as an "e-commerce storage and fulfillment center (for) a large internet distributor."

"A new e-commerce storage and fulfillment center is proposed for construction by a large internet distributor to be in Fort Wayne, Indiana"

- Project Mastodon Engineering Documents

The name of that online seller is not mentioned in the documents, though the language implies Amazon or a company similar to it.

Filings show the facility "will be owned, occupied, and operated by a single tenant."

The floor plans and other information are marked as "confidential," but the information has now been filed to a state database, where ABC21 reviewed the material.

It offers insights beyond the basic specifications reported in recent weeks.

Listed as "Project Mastodon" on paperwork, the building itself would be rectangular and would rise 110 feet into the air.

That's taller than most eight-story office buildings -- but documents submitted to the State of Indiana show the warehousing and distribution center would comprise five floors in total, with the ground level larger than the other four.

Combined, those floors would provide nearly 2.9 million square feet of space. About 628,000 square feet would be on the ground and would mark the footprint of the structure.

More than 100 pages of safety-related detail are included in the documents, which touch on plans for the product storage and retrieval system that would be implemented at the warehouse and address fire and evacuation concerns.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry alluded to the project in his State of the City address Feb. 10, calling it "substantial," but offering no details regarding the plans.

Monday afternoon's meeting in Room 35 at Citizens Square will address requests for zoning variances.

Project Mastodon is slated to rise on currently vacant space located on the north side of US 30 at Flaugh Road, near the Sweetwater headquarters and warehouse facility. The 150-acre site is owned by the Fort Wayne Department of Redevelopment.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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