Developers Making Presence Felt At New Harrison Site

By Jeff Neumeyer

December 1, 2011 Updated Dec 1, 2011 at 6:52 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Fort Wayne residents tempted to be cynical about whether the final piece of the Harrison Square project will ever get built, might find encouragement in the fact, some signs point to progress.

There's evidence that developers are making a more serious commitment to the start of construction on what's now called "New Harrison".

It was originally supposed to be a combination condominium and commercial project that was slated to be finished in June 2009.

All kinds of delays hit, mostly because the first developer couldn't secure a loan.

More recently, new developers had hoped to break ground by November 30th of this year on an adjusted retail, office space and apartment complex just beyond the left field wall of the downtown baseball stadium.

It became another target missed.

But all is not lost.

The $80,000 pledged by the city redevelopment commission for site preparation work has been spent, but contractors continue to take steps towards a permanent presence at the location.

Construction trailers have been moved in across from the project site, a good sign.

Mayor Tom Henry insists, New Harrison will not fail.

Mayor Tom Henry/(D) Fort Wayne: " The city is in there now moving dirt, we bought some property on the other side of Ewing Street, the homes have been demolished. It is being set up as a staging area, so everything is moving forward."

Tom Smith/(R) Fort Wayne Council, 1st District: " It really doesn't mean much to me, there's been so many deadlines over the past four or five years on this building that they become meaningless and so now it's just a matter of let's get this project done."

The latest hurdle to be cleared is a familiar one: nailing down financing.

Closing is dependent upon the selling of millions of dollars in government tax credits to bolster the bank loan.

Those tax credits have to be sold by mid-January, the next deadline, in a long line of deadlines.

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