Definitive Agreement Sends Solid Signal of Development’s Momentum
Fort Wayne, Ind. – Mayor Tom Henry today affirmed that the final piece of Harrison Square remains on track for completion during a briefing on The Harrison’s definitive agreement with New Harrison, LLC. The Harrison is the residential, retail and office component of the signature, downtown Fort Wayne development.
“By every measure, Harrison Square is an unqualified success: new jobs, new investment, new hotel, new ballpark and tons of new activity in the heart of our community,” stated Mayor Henry. “With financing and the definitive agreement now in place for The Harrison, we are poised to add new residents, new businesses and expanded growth to downtown. Working together, even in these difficult times, we are realizing our goals for a vibrant city center that is a magnet for opportunity and a key economic driver for our region.”
The Monday news of the definitive agreement’s successful negotiation comes on the heels of the development partnership’s recent report that financing for The Harrison has been secured with PNC Bank. Evidence of the project’s financing was delivered to the City of Fort Wayne on August 31, the date outlined in the June memorandum of understanding.
The definitive agreement between the City and New Harrison, The Harrison’s new investor group, refines and memorializes the terms and conditions first set forth in the memorandum of understanding. The agreement is binding.
A full copy of the pact accompanies this release and can be found at the bottom of this article. A summary of the main points contained in the agreement is as follows:
• The right to purchase The Harrison property will be assigned to the new development entity, and it will acquire and improve the property as described;
• The new development team agrees to construct The Harrison meeting all design,
quality and finish expectations as originally detailed;
• Construction is anticipated to be complete 14 months from the date of closing, dependent upon the occurrence of no permitted delays;
• The City will work to facilitate all agreed-upon incentives, such as tax abatement, New Market Tax Credits and Community Revitalization Enhancement District Tax Credits;
• 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;
• With the investment being made in The Harrison, certain first-time Tax Increment Financing (TIF) revenues produced in the designated development area, specifically the property taxes generated from the construction of The Harrison, may be used as a debt-service guarantee, if and only if operating revenues are insufficient; and
• 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.
The signatories to the definitive agreement are the City, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission and New Harrison. The principals in New Harrison are Mark Hagerman, CEO of The Hagerman Group; Simon Dragan, President of Whitley Manufacturing Company, Inc.; and Chris Schoen, CEO of Barry Real Estate Companies, Inc. The additional members of the development team are Hardball Capital, LLC, and Fort Wayne Professional Baseball, LLC. The agreement must be approved by the Redevelopment Commission.
“The Harrison’s definitive agreement puts us one step closer to the start of construction,” noted Hagerman. “We are eager to get going. The Harrison will not only bring new economic vitality to downtown Fort Wayne, it will cap Harrison Square’s development arc with a fitting corner piece.”
“The Harrison represents a new kind of development opportunity,” commented Dragan. “With financing set and a solid agreement negotiated, we can now press forward to realize the potential in this exciting addition to Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana. It is especially rewarding to be able to make this project come to life.”
“With the good news over the past two weeks, the vision of Harrison Square has again been reinforced,” said Schoen. “Thanks to the strong commitment of Simon Dragan, Mark Hagerman, Mayor Henry and the entire development team, The Harrison is moving confidently toward completion.”
“The TinCaps are proud to be a part of the growing success of Harrison Square,” observed Jason Freier, CEO of Hardball Capital. “As The Harrison gains momentum, it underscores again the great partnership that we have with the community and the City, one that we believe will only continue to prosper.”
Located on the southeast corner of Jefferson Boulevard and Ewing Street and overlooking Parkview Field, The Harrison will serve as a visual gateway to Harrison Square. The mixed-use building will feature retail space at street level, distinctive office space on the second floor, and 42 upscale apartments on the top two floors. Altogether, The Harrison will encompass nearly100,000 square feet of leasable space across its four stories.
The estimated $18.5 million development will significantly exceed the $14.5 million of private investment required by the City for this portion of Harrison Square. The current estimates incorporate both design and construction projections.
Throughout the development process, interest in The Harrison has intensified. A sizable list of prospects for the apartments has already been collected.
Moreover, three businesses have executed leases and will become the first tenants of The Harrison:
• Carson Boxberger, LLP, a longstanding downtown law firm, 24,000 square feet of space;
• 3Rivers Federal Credit Union, a regional financial-services provider, 3,800 square feet of space; and
• 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 PNC Bank, the other members of The Harrison’s working group are:
• Design Collaborative, a local architectural and engineering firm serving as the designer for the building; and
• Hagerman Construction Corporation, a Fort Wayne construction company acting as the general contractor for the project.
The definitive agreement will be presented to the Redevelopment Commission during its 4 p.m. meeting later today. The session will be held in Council Discussion Chambers, Citizens Square, 200 East Berry Street.