News release from RTM Ventures:
Do it Best Corp. to anchor Electric Works Innovation District
(February 13, 2020) – Do it Best Corp., a global leader in the independent home improvement industry, has signed a letter of intent to locate its corporate headquarters at Electric Works in Fort Wayne.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and other local regional and state leaders joined Do it Best Corp. CEO Dan Starr and representatives of RTM Ventures, the development team behind Electric Works, in making the announcement today. The letter of intent calls for Do it Best Corp. to occupy almost 200,000 square feet of space on multiple floors in Building 26 on the project’s West Campus, with the ability to add up to 20,000 square feet more if needed for expansion.
In addition to providing the company’s employees a more collaborative, open and efficient work environment, Electric Works will strengthen Do it Best’s ability to retain and attract skilled talent from across the country in an increasingly multigenerational labor market.
“Being at Electric Works will help us be an employer of first choice, retaining and attracting top multi-generational talent not only from here in Fort Wayne, but also on a broader scale,” said Do it Best Corp. President and CEO Dan Starr. “It enables us to keep our roots in the community we’ve called home for 75 years, while at the same time positioning us for a bright future.
“And, by playing a central role in one of the largest commercial renovation projects taking place anywhere in the country,” Starr added, “it aligns well with our core business and with our desire to help make the communities we’re in better places to live, work, and play.”
Based in New Haven, Do it Best Corp. is the largest privately held company in the state of Indiana and the only U.S.-based, member-owned comprehensive and fully integrated hardware, lumber and building materials buying cooperative in the home improvement industry. With annual sales nearing $4 billion, Do it Best Corp. serves thousands of member-owned locations across the United States and in more than 50 other countries.
“Cultivating entrepreneurship, innovation and job creation is critical to Fort Wayne and Indiana’s future,” said Josh Parker of RTM Ventures. “Successful public-private partnerships can create the right place to help employers to attract and retain talent, which is the currency of economic development. Electric Works presents a compelling home for growing and established technology-driven companies like Do it Best; their presence at Electric Works will help provide the foundation for bringing the community’s vision of a district of energy, innovation and culture to life.”
Construction at Electric Works is expected to begin this summer. The project is estimated to create nearly 2,000 jobs during the two-year construction phase. Fort Wayne-based Weigand Construction will be general contractor, and Fort Wayne-based Bona Vita Architecture will lead the design of the new Do it Best headquarters at Electric Works.
For more information on Do it Best Corp., visit its website at doitbestonline.com.
About Electric Works
Electric Works is a mixed-use district of innovation, energy and culture, developed as a public/private partnership between RTM Ventures and the City of Fort Wayne. A redevelopment and reuse of the former General Electric campus in downtown Fort Wayne, Electric Works includes 39 acres, 18 historic buildings and more than 1.2 million square feet of space for office, educational, innovation, retail, residential, hotel and entertainment uses. For more information, visit the Electric Works website.