Another Downtown Demolition?

It looks like 525 W Jefferson Boulevard may be torn down shortly.  This is the house immediately to the West of the downtown McDonald’s.    It appears that utilities have been cut to the house and a crane sits behind.

This two or three block area of Jefferson has undergone an amazing transformation with the addition of the Starbucks and renovation of the old Rogers/Boxberger’s building into retail and Strebig Construction headquarters.  There’s also been rumors of a new restaurant development at the corner of Broadway and Jefferson Boulevard, where the former Betty Brite Cleaners stands.  Nothing substantial has been released yet plan-wise, however an alley vacation was granted for the property earlier this year by the Fort Wayne City Council.

The two houses on the western side of 525 were saved and renovated a few years back.  They became, Historic Jefferson Park and are beautiful testaments to what can be done instead of choosing the demolition option.  The house in question does not look to be in that bad of condition, however, if a non-profit owns it now, there is probably little money available for any other option.  Also, given the fact that their property on Berry Street is in good condition, this is probably the only option available to them.  Too bad, it’s a shame!

Interestingly enough, a search of the on-line Allen County Property Card Records reveals this property was bought on June 25, 2007 by Cedars Hope, which according to it’s website, “…is a not-for-profit organization serving homeless persons living with a mental illness by offering permanent housing,” among other options. The shelter is on Berry Street, almost in a straight line from the house to be torn down.  Before the sale in June, 2007, the property in question was owned by the Homeless Task Force of Fort Wayne, Inc.

Years ago, I worked for the Fort Wayne Rescue Mission.  At that time, the Homeless Task Force was just getting started, but there wasn’t a written down organizational chart or anything like that.  It was several agencies coming together to look at the various issues facing the homeless in Fort Wayne.  I’m a bit curious about the entity listed as owning the property and how they came to possess it.  It may not even be related. If anyone knows anything about this, feel free to email me or post your comments below.  

In the meantime, I’ll try to keep you posted on the status of this possible demolition.


  1. We had looked at this property for some time and had made a counter offer for the property. After 6 months of hard work and money, we had just finished conversations with the city when the owners of Historic Jefferson Park bought it. I’d hate to see them tear down that nice building because the last thing Fort Wayne needs is another parking lot. Stand alone office space is hard to find and this was a nice property that had been let sit for far too long.


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