Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Journal-Gazette Reports Ash Brokerage Offered Incentives for Development Project in Fort Wayne

From the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:

A more than $70 million project that will forever change Fort Wayne’s landscape can proceed.

The city Plan Commission on Monday approved Emerald Skyline, a 16-story mixed-used development with Ash Brokerage at its center.

During a public hearing last week, commission members raised a few concerns about excessive signage and the elimination of street lanes. Those issues would not become problems, the developers said.

Ash Brokerage plans a 65,000-square-foot, $28 million headquarters on the block bordered by Harrison, Wayne, Webster and Berry streets downtown. The company will move its 200 employees to the new building and add 115 more over the next few years.

The company’s present location is 7609 W. Jefferson Blvd. Ash Brokerage offers wholesale distribution of life insurance, annuities, long-term care and disability income insurance. The firm said it is experiencing substantial growth, which led to the expansion decision.

Emerald Skyline also includes a $32 million residential package of at least 100 luxury apartments, townhouses and condominiums by Hanning & Bean Enterprises. Both projects will sit on top of a city-owned 780-space parking garage, which will be surrounded by street-level retail.

The development has already resulted in Lake City Bank planning to occupy 4,000 square feet of retail space. Emerald Skyline was nearly two years in the making. Construction is expected to begin in April.

The city will provide a $19.5 million incentive package to the development that consists of land acquisition, site preparation, tax abatement and participation in the construction and operation of the parking garage. State officials also will contribute $10 million in performance-based incentives.