News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Mayor’s leadership secures new partners, fresh momentum for The Harrison
Local Investors Join Forces with Barry to Realize Last Piece of Harrison Square
Respected local developers and business leaders, Mark Hagerman, CEO
of The Hagerman Group, and Simon Dragan, President of Whitley Manufacturing Company, Inc., today joined Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and Chris Schoen, CEO of Barry Real Estate Companies, in presenting a progress report on The Harrison, the residential and commercial component of Harrison Square. The Mayor also announced the successful negotiation of a Memorandum of Understanding creating a new partnership to move the development forward.
The Harrison is the final piece of Harrison Square, the flourishing downtown project begun in 2006 that has become a major economic-activity generator for the entire community. The signature, private-public initiative is composed of the record-breaking Parkview Field, home of the popular TinCaps; a hospitality-sector boosting Courtyard by Marriott hotel; a convenient 900-space parking garage; and the scenic Robert E. Meyers Park.
“The overwhelming success of Parkview Field, the TinCaps, the Courtyard by Marriot hotel, Robert E. Meyers Park and the new parking garage is a testament to the vision of Harrison Square and its catalytic impact on the heart of our community,” said Mayor Henry. “The new partnership between Mark Hagerman, Simon Dragan, Barry Real Estate and the rest of the team adds new momentum to Harrison Square’s finish-line push and demonstrates our collective commitment to strengthening our community. Working together, we are making steady progress to realize The Harrison.”
The Harrison is envisioned as a four-story, mixed-used building designed to complement its strategic location on the corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Ewing Street, overlooking the ballpark. It will offer retail space at street level, high-end office space on the second floor, and 42 fashionable apartments on the top two floors. With 100,000 square feet of rentable space in all, The Harrison will define a desirable new address and a stylish addition to the downtown skyline.
“Representing one of the oldest and finest construction traditions in the Midwest, The Hagerman Group’s roots run deep in Fort Wayne,” stated Hagerman. “To be a partner in helping The Harrison come to life reflects our commitment to this community, one that grows stronger with every investment that we have been privileged to make in it. I look forward to watching The Harrison rise from the ground and welcome its positive economic impact on downtown and the entire city.”
“Harrison Square is an exciting development for downtown Fort Wayne and all of northeast Indiana,” said Dragan. “As a proud member of this community who chose to make it my own, I am pleased to be part of the team that will help in bringing The Harrison to fruition.”
“I am so pleased that my new partners Mark Hagerman and Simon Dragon share in the vision of Harrison Square,” said Schoen. “Along with them and the citizens of Fort Wayne, I am optimistic that the development successes in downtown Fort Wayne will only continue to grow and expand for this wonderful community.”
The current estimates for the design and construction of The Harrison are placed at nearly $18 million, well beyond the $14.5 million investment required by the City of Fort Wayne for this phase of Harrison Square.
The parties to the memorandum are the City; the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission; Fort Wayne Professional Baseball, LLC; Hardball Capital, LLC; Barry Real Estate Companies, LLC; and New Harrison, LLC.
The Memorandum of Understanding crafts the foundation for the relationships between all the entities involved in The Harrison. It sets forth a framework around which definitive agreements will ultimately be completed. A full copy of the memorandum accompanies this news release. Summary highlights of the document are as follows:
Â· The new development partnership agrees to construct The Harrison meeting all design, quality and finish expectations as originally described;
Â· A March 1, 2013 completion timeline is anticipated;
Â· Recognizing the importance of The Harrison to Parkview Field and the TinCaps, Hardball Capital commits to pay the City $950,000 in 19 equal installments of $50,000 each, and invest no less than $1 million on Parkview Field capital improvements over a 10-year period as prescribed.
Â· The right to purchase The Harrison property will be assigned to the new development partnership;
Â· The Redevelopment Commission will establish a Residential Growth Fund from the first seven years of Hardball Capital payments as a safeguard against any shortfalls in projected gross rental income; and
Â· With the investment being made in The Harrison, certain first-time Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues generated in the specified development area may be used as a debt-service guarantee, if and only if operating revenues are insufficient.
Three businesses have already executed leases and will become the first tenants of The Harrison, including:
Â· Carson Boxberger, LLP, a longstanding downtown law firm recommitting to the core of city, 24,000 square feet of space;
Â· 3Rivers Federal Credit Union, a regional financial-services provider bringing its distinct relationship-based brand into the downtown area, 3,800 square feet of space; and
Â· O’Reilly’s Irish Bar, an Indianapolis-based establishment new to northeast Indiana,
4,000 square feet of space.
Barry Real Estate will continue to market The Harrison. All inquiries for both residential and retail space should be directed to www.HarrisonSquareLiving.com.
Along with the principals in New Harrison, the other members of The Harrison’s development team include:
Â· PNC, the lead bank in supplying financing for the project;
Â· Design Collaborative, a local, downtown architectural and engineering firm serving as the designer for the building; and
Â· Hagerman Construction Corporation, a nearly century-old Fort Wayne construction company acting as the general contractor for the project.
“I remain an enthusiastic downtown supporter,” emphasized Mayor Henry. “My dedication to building a more vibrant city center is about making Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana more attractive to the good jobs, talented workers and business investment that we need to thrive. In the face of the worst economic times, I have been resolved to give The Harrison every chance to succeed while always looking out for our taxpayers. Today, I am more confident than ever that our perseverance will be rewarded.”
As requested by Mayor Henry, an update on the status of The Harrison will be provided to the Redevelopment Commission in a 4 p.m. meeting later today. The session will be held in the Fort Wayne City Council Discussion Room, Room 030, on the Garden Level of Citizens Square, 200 East Berry Street.
The estimated target for The Harrison’s completion is approximately 15 months from the start of construction.
In addition to the announcements about The Harrison, Mayor Henry also saluted the exceptional performance of the TinCaps and the superb operations at Parkview Field. The City has an outstanding relationship with the team, its staff and ownership. They are a tremendous community asset.
“Both the City and the community have been so supportive of us and such great partners, said Mike Nutter, President of the TinCaps. “When asked to make an additional investment to help bring The Harrison to fruition, the team was happy to play its part.”
Harrison Square has already proven its ability to outperform expectations, as follows: Over 500,000 people coming downtown for TinCaps games and events at Parkview Field annually; a record attendance for activities at Headwaters Park, festivals and events; a flourishing cultural district; businesses investing; restaurants expanding their hours; a new Courtyard by Marriott hotel that is enhancing our hospitality industry, including significant growth in the number and size of convention wins.
In terms of job creation, the news is also excellent. The Courtyard by Marriot hotel employs 125 full- and part-time staff. The TinCaps employ, on average, 80 full-time individuals during the off-season and over 550 during the season, many part-time. Approximately 100 construction jobs were also created during the building of these elements of the project.
Harrison Square is a validation of the community’s decision over a decade ago that an energized downtown was a cornerstone of its overall economic development efforts, a measure of the city’s pride and a vital symbol of its ability to attract new investment. The ideas behind Harrison Square emerged from local planning initiatives that were guided by citizen input. A priority objective has been to foster new residential and retail options in the center of the city.
The Hagerman Group
Founded in 1908 in Fort Wayne, The Hagerman Group consists of three outstanding construction firms: Hagerman Construction Corporation; GDH, LLC; and Hagerman, Inc.
The Hagerman stamp is all across the Midwest in landmarks and community institutions that define this region, including: the Lincoln Tower, Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, North Side High School, Fort Wayne Water Pollution Control Plant, Do It Best Corporation, University of Notre Dame and Eli Lilly & Company.
As a 42-year veteran of the industry and the CEO of the four-generation family company, Mark Hagerman has successfully broadened the firm’s role as a full-range provider of construction services to both the public and private sectors.
Whitley Manufacturing Company, Inc.
In the wake of World War II, Whitley Manufacturing Company, Inc. was started to provide homes for returning veterans. Over the years, the company moved from housing to office manufacturing. In the early 1990s, Simon Dragan purchased the flagship factory in South Whitley, Indiana, and continues to drive the company’s progress. Today, the firm is known nationwide as a leading manufacturer of commercial modular buildings.
A native of Romania who has become an American success story, Dragan now oversees the South Whitley facility along with plants in Rochester, Indiana, and Marysville, Washington. He has stressed honesty and integrity in all company dealings, and has built a reputation for delivering high value at a competitive price.
Whitley has developed and completed several local projects, most recently, two four-story dormitories on the Indiana Institute of Technology campus in Fort Wayne.