The third phase of the Harrison Square project has languished for a year and a half. Condos were supposed to be build over 400 days ago. City council members are taking steps tonight to push developer Berry Companies to get moving.
The Redevelopment Commission says the main reason the condos haven't been build is the economy. Berry Companies can't find enough buyers to secure the funding. But the Director of the Redevelopment Commission, Greg Leatherman, says one day the building will be built.
John Shoaff, a City Councilman, says “I think it's time, and my constituents think it's time. A lot of people are more than frustrated. They are just puzzled. They can't understand why the city wouldn't follow through.”
You will only find dirt where the condos should stand. The director of the Redevelopment Commission told city council they will send a letter of default to Berry Companies Monday.
The company will then have 90 days to decide if they'll proceed with the project. But an extension can be requested if the city agrees to it. The city says they're doing their best to work with the company.
Tim Haffner, the Corporation Council for the City of Fort Wayne, says “It's exactly what a bank would do in the event someone was unable to meet their obligations. You try and work with people you do business with and that’s all the city is trying to do.”
But how much longer will they wait? Haffner says “Don't know. That's a subject of discussion. Obviously we want to take into account market and conditions. Other prospective partners that might be interested.”
The timeline is unknown, but the redevelopment director assures FOX Fort Wayne the building will eventually be built. Leatherman say ”One day there will be a building at the corner of Ewing and Jefferson. What exactly will be there is still a function of the market and what people want to spend their money on.”
The Redevelopment Commission will meet on Monday to write the letter of default and send it to Berry Companies. Within 90 days, the developer will either need to move forward with the project, or they give up their exclusive building rights.