The Electric Works mixed-use development in the Indiana community of Fort Wayne just hit a major milestone: It secured an anchor tenant.
This is important news. The development is a key one for Fort Wayne, Indiana. Electric Works, being developed by RTM Ventures, is being built on 39 acres that once served as the Fort Wayne home of General Electric. The project ranks as one of the largest redevelopments in thee entire Midwest.
How big is Electric Works? The project includes 18 buildings that will be transformed into 1.2 million square feet of commercial, retail, educational, residential, hotel and community space
The goal is an important one, too. In a previous story published by Midwest Real Estate News, RTM Ventures said that the project should attract high-paying jobs, top talent and an influx of investment dollars to Fort Wayne.
“This is a big, bold and massive project,” Kevan Biggs, development partner at RTM Ventures, told Midwest Real Estate News in June of last year. “It’s just such a massive campus. You can’t venture into a project like this and take off a tiny nibble. We needed something of the right size and scale to have a meaningful impact.”
Last week, officials announced Electric Works’ anchor tenant, Do It Best Corp. The hardware, lumber and materials cooperative signed a letter of intent to relocate its headquarters and all 440 of its employees to a nearly 200,000-square-foot space on the Electric Works campus.
Do It Best also announced that it plans to add up to 90 new jobs with this move.
Dan Starr, chief executive officer of Do It Best, made the announcement at an event last week at the Electric Works campus. Starr said that Do It Best’s new location in such a key development will help the company grow.
“Being at Electric Works will help us be an employer of first choice, retaining and attracting top talent not only from Fort Wayne but also on a broader scale,” Starr said during the announcement.
With Do It Best in place as its anchor tenant, Electric Works is now about 60 percent pre-leased.
The Electric Works campus is an important plot of land in Fort Wayne. The campus traces its start back to the creation of the Fort Wayne Electric Company in the late 19th Century. The oldest building on the campus is thought to date back to 1893.
General Electric acquired the land at the beginning of the 20th century, eventually building four large-scale manufacturing buildings on the site. The site reached its peak in the late 1940s, when the campus employed about 40 percent of Fort Wayne’s workforce.