Redevelopment Commission notes – 8/25/2009

City of Fort Wayne Seal

A little late, but worth it.  There was some Harrison Square-related discussion which will be covered in another post.

All Commissioners were present, including Steve Corona.  All resolutions listed below were approved.

2009-51

This is for the monitoring of the old HubCap Express location in what is now Headwaters Park.  The site also served a former life as a gas station.  Apparently, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) did not receive documentation that this site had completed it’s monitoring requirements and could not close out the case.  The contamination was petroleum-based as one would expect given the previous uses of the property.  The resolution approves testing for one year at the end of which it will be determined if further remediation is needed.  If so, it might be possible to combine the remediation with the bridge work that will be done on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Memorial Bridge.

Redevelopment Executive Director Greg Leatherman pointed out that low levels of contamination were found before and that testing at that point indicated the contamination was not on the move or getting any worse.  He also talked about the fact that Clinton Street itself seemed to be the border.  If you sampled on the west side of Clinton, you found the contamination, but if you sampled on the east side there was no contamination.  The underground storage tanks that had been on the site were removed 15 years ago.  What was left was some left over soil that had some residual contamination.  This was the only clean up site in Headwaters Park that IDEM did not receive proper closure documentation.

The contract is for $23,536 and granted to IWM out of Indianapolis.  IDEM will grant $16,000 to the Redevelopment Commission to be applied to the project’s cost.

2009-52

This resolution approved a contract for an appraisal of the west building on the Dimension Ford property.  The land sits on 2.97 acres. An RFP was let and the following bids received:

  • Misner & Associates – $2,800
  • Verne V. Mitchell & Associates – $2,800
  • The Worden Group – $3,500

It was asked why the quote fees were high.  Greg responded that with today’s market, more work has to be done to determine fair comparables.  The land is zoned IN2 and is in the flood way.  Only 50% of the current assessed value of the building, exclusive of landscaping and repairs, can be put into improvements of the building.

The road that currently runs through the former Dimension Ford property will always be there due to easements on the property.  However, Greg suggested the road could be realigned to allow for a joining of the properties if it is deemed the building should be demolished and the entire area turned over to Parks and Recreation.  Parks and Recreation are on board with selling off the west side if a suitable buyer can be found.  Greg also mentioned that restrictions can be placed on the deed to keep some control over what is developed there if it is sold.

Remediation work is still continuing on the site.  Greg indicated that the contamination had spread further than was originally thought.  However, the consultants are confident that the source of remediation funds will be adequate to finish the job.  IDEM did fund all of the clean up.

Greg indicated the Parks and Recreation are making arragements for top soil and that the area will initially have grass planted.  There are a large number of possibilities for the site, however no structures due to flooding issues.  Parks and Recreation does plan to talk with surrounding neighborhoods about possible uses.

The contract for appraisal services was awarded to Misner & Associates and Verne V. Mitchell & Associates.

2009-53

This was the final change order for the Harrison Square.  It included such items as a foundation for the rock climbing wall ($9,239.00) additional signage that was installed, window and cabinetry work and various other miscellaneous items.  The General Contractor was Schenkel & Sons and the total was $39,305.34 which was an add to the contract.  This also closes their allowance as well and had been approved by Weigand Construction.

This expenditure was included in the numbers presented to the Redevelopment Commission and City Council earlier this summer.    Greg reported that there might be landscaping and electrical change orders forthcoming.  Behind the left field wall, is a maintenance area for the TinCaps field staff.  This area needs to have a wall sealed and closed due to its exposure caused by The Harrison not being built.  Once that is done, dry wall can be installed and finishing work completed.  It was just authorized a few weeks ago and will be a few thousand dollars.  This will come before the Redevelopment Commission as well.

2009-54

This resolution transfers 5.56 acres to the YMCA for the construction of the new Renaissance Pointe YMCA facility.  The land was part of the Bowser Avenue Redevelopment Area established in November, 1998.  This land was then offered to the public in March, 2002 with no responses received.  That allowed the Redevelopment to negotiate a sale and development of the land after May, 2002.  This is in the Renaissance Pointe Urban Renewal Area (URA) which was created in September, 2006.  The land will be transferred to the YMCA for the gross sale amount of $1.00.  When the Redevelopment Commission adopted the TIF district, it agreed to forward any collected TIF back to the City.  In this particular TIF, TIF funds can be collected on residential properties.

2009-55

This resolution was for the completion of the Harrison Square Parking Deck.  Because of scheduling conflicts, timing issues related to the beginning of the TinCaps season and desire to evaluate the true need for protective bollards and ventilation duct work, and the discovery of inconsistencies at the bottom of ramps which tend to collect water during storm events which could cause unsafe pedestrian conditions during freezing weather and in looking toward the upcoming winter, this work needs to be completed now.

Harding Dahm is the manager of the facility for the Redevelopment Commission.  One of the items on the list was for a snow blower, shovels, leaf blower and a secure storage area totaling $6,600.  Commissioner Corona asked if we will lease the equipment to Harding Dahm and if the City owns the other equipment used in other garages.  Greg responded that the management agreement for the facility was patterned after other agreements governing the other City-owned garages.    Commissioner Thom Obergfell asked who maintains the equipment and Greg responded that Harding Dahm will and then charge the City for it.  Commissioner Judi Wire added concern about this arrangement to which Greg responded that at some point the City will need to re-examine all parking garage management agreements.

Superior Street Row

Commissioner Casey Cox asked for an update on this project.  Greg responded that there have been continued meetings with Hartland Development.  To date, the Redevelopment Commission is committed to providing the developer with the land for the footprint of the building in exchange for a $3.5 to $4 million investment.  They have also committed to assisting Hartland receive available tax abatements from the City Council as well as finding funds to help with infrastructure improvements.  The Commission would also provide parking easements, although the remainder of the parking lot will remain under Commission control.

There have been some problems building on the west corner of the parcel, so the building could be slid east towards Club Soda.  Redevelopment is not committing to additional phases of construction due to parking concerns.  Greg ended by stating the ball is in the developer’s court.

Embassy Theatre walkway and renovation work

Greg indicated that a sprinkler will be needed inside the walkway that will connect the Embassy/Indiana Hotel and new Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.  Unfortunately, it would not have been possible to attach this sprinkler to the existing one.   If a sprinkler is not installed inside the walkway, a stairwell would have to be built on either side of the bridge to allow for emergency exits which would have cost approximately $65,000 and would not have been visually appealing.  Weigand has quoted the project at $8,200 for the walkway sprinkler.  In addition they will install sprinklers on the upper four floors for $29,000.

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