Today, the City of Fort Wayne Indiana announced it is partnering with Sweetwater founder Surack Enterprises to redevelop a downtown block adjacent to the former Aunt Millie’s bakery and The Bradley boutique hotel.
City of Fort Wayne news release:
Unique development planned for downtown through partnership between Surack Enterprises and City of Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, Indiana (February 14, 2022) – The City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division is partnering with Sweetwater founder Chuck Surack and Lisa Surack, now of Surack Enterprises, to bring more development to the downtown area.
The project, known as “The Pearl,” will be an investment of nearly $50 million by the Suracks. It is anticipated to include a seven-story mixed-use building with more than 35,000 square feet of ground-floor commercial and event space, 92 structured parking spaces for residents, five “first of its kind” live/work units and approximately 76 dwelling units on upper floors.
The site is just west of The Bradley, Fort Wayne’s new boutique hotel, and south of Perfection Bakeries. It is bounded by Pearl, Webster, and Main Streets, and Maiden Lane. The project will complement The Bradley and other existing neighborhood uses with a large, ground floor event space in addition to restaurant and retail amenities.
“On behalf of Redevelopment, we are excited to enter into a public-private partnership with Surack Enterprises to reimburse the developer for public improvements to city streets, sidewalks, and utilities,” said Jonathan Leist, Deputy Director of Redevelopment. “This project will be a great addition to our billion dollars of downtown investments in Fort Wayne and is another example of investment and growth acting as catalyst for additional investment. The new building’s design and use will be a great complement to surrounding businesses including The Bradley and The Landing, and we look forward to this new addition to our vibrant and growing downtown.”
The Suracks will invest up to $7 million in improving the streets and public infrastructure surrounding the site.
Later today, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will consider an economic development agreement to partner with the developer to use the new tax increment generated by the project to reimburse for public improvements around the property, including replacing sidewalks, replacing water and sewer lines that are past their useful life, reinstalling brick on Maiden and Webster, and repaving Pearl Street, likely using a decorative paver.
In order to do this, members of the Commission will also be asked to extend the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district to include the project site to reimburse the developer for the public infrastructure and streetscape improvements in areas surrounding it.
“This project is a perfect example of how public and private development projects can work to benefit the entire community,” said the Suracks. “We are excited to see how The Pearl will continue to enhance the downtown experience for both residents and visitors.”
“Fort Wayne continues to grow and succeed as we work together to bring new investments to our community,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “This unique endeavor will be a space that everyone will be able to enjoy. We also recognize that high-performing public-private partnerships are positioning Fort Wayne as a regional and national leader in quality of place amenities where individuals, families, and businesses want to be.”