Dimension Ford demolition; Intermodal facility

At today’s Redevelopment Commission meeting, the commission approved a contract with Martin Enterprises to demolish the east structure, pictured above, and remove the asphalt on the east side of the drive that runs through the property to Main Street.

The contract is for $111,080.  There were 10 respondents to the request for bids with the highest bid topping out at over $400,000.  The asphalt will be removed, however, the stone base under the asphalt will be left in place to protect the soil against erosion.  It had been discussed that the Parks Department, who will eventually take over the property, was interested in leaving a small parking strip on the east side.  However, this will not happen.  The city did an Asbestos study and found almost none in the building, except for some sprayed on some of the girders.  A fence on the east side of the property will also be removed.

The Redevelopment Commission is still exploring potential reuses for the building on the west side.  Redevelopment Executive Director Greg Leatherman reported that the building is still secure and there has been some interest which will be explored in the coming months.  Removal of the east side building is consistent with efforts to beautify the Jefferson Boulevard corridor into downtown.

Once demolition is completed, environmental clean up of automotive oils and such from the property will begin.  The building on the east side sits over some of the contamination that will need to be cleaned.  The City will try to secure funding to assist with this process.  Work is expected to commence shortly.

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The Commissioners also voted to approve an Option to Purchase Agreement with Transpoint regarding the proposed intermodal facility on North Adams Center Road.  Completion of the same is contingent upon the property being used only for an intermodal facility.  The site encompasses some 50 acres.  It will be an “intermodal rail/truck/container car transportation facility.  Greg reported that there are many people working on this project to make it happen.  Commissioner Judi Wire brought up the storm water detention issue and was told without a specific site plan, which won’t be drafted until funding is secured, there wasn’t an answer.  However, the feeling of staff was that the developer was very amenable to making the project work.

Commissioner Thom Obergfell asked about a time frame and was told as quickly as possible.  One of the things being looked at is the search for stimulus funds for road improvements into and out of the area.  This is not just a City of Fort Wayne project, but will end up being beneficial for the entire region.  In fact, Greg mentioned that he’d had a conversation with Indiana Senator David Long last week.

Commissioners asked if there were any updates regarding Summit Park II.  Nothing new was reported.  Wayne Pipe Supply is progressing on the construction of their new facility.  Soil concerns seem to have been resolved and were limited to the areas identified earlier.  

Talk then turned to a piece of property the Redevelopment Commission was given control of about 15 years ago from the University of Indianapolis.  The property is located South of Paulding Road, East of Anthony, West of Hessen Cassel.  It’s a vacant lot in the middle without easy access.  Several times, Redevelopment has been approached with projects, but none seemed realistic given the limited access and amount of investment required by the City to put infrastructure into the area.  As I mentioned, there is no road accessibility which would mean having to trespass to gain access as well as a lack of water source.  I would also assume lack of sewers as well.

Recently, a group of citizens approached staff about using the property for a garden – similar to the community garden at Foster Park along Bluffton Road.  The citizens have been persistent and Greg gave them several options which required some leg work from them.  One of these was gaining secured access to the area.  Greg shared that he has received several letters from surrounding property owners granting access to the property including Autumn Woods.  This last group will also provide water from their buildings into the property.  A year’s trial period was granted to the group.  There were some questions about who would control or process requests for garden spaces and Greg responded that the group had done their homework and seemed to know what they were doing.


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