Laying Out A Game Plan For Condo Project To Avoid "Strike Three"

By Jeff Neumeyer

September 21, 2010 Updated Sep 21, 2010 at 5:47 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, IN (Indiana's NewsCenter) --- Fort Wayne Redevelopment Director Greg Leatherman was on Tuesday’s city council agenda to address what actions his agency is prepared to take to try and move forward the stalled retail and condominium project at Harrison Square.

He was expected to emphasize how 2010 was another successful season for the TinCaps baseball team, regarding attendance and revenue brought into the city as well.

But Leatherman says he would also drive home that the city expects the developers to get started with construction, and that the city has every intention of enforcing the written contracts at issue.

The retail and residential complex was supposed to be done in June 2009.

In September 2010, the work hasn't even begun.

Redevelopment Commission attorneys are drafting a notice of default that will be sent to Barry Real Estate and Hardball Capital, the owners of the TinCaps, and partner in the delinquent condo project.

Greg Leatherman/Ft. Wayne Redevelopment Director: " We've been patient about it, because there are conditions that exist that have made it extraordinarily difficult, not just for Barry Real Estate, but for any development to occur downtown. We've taken that into account, and we still take that into account, but at the end of the day, it may be the right time to open up our options."

Upon receipt of the default notice, Barry Real Estate would have 90 days to cure the problem, or face the possibility of fines or other penalties.

The redevelopment commission wants to see proof that financing has been secured, which would allow the project to get started in early 2011.

Leatherman says he remains hopeful Barry Real Estate can deliver the development, but it’s clear city officials are losing confidence as time passes with no signs of progress.

If Barry Real Estate can’t get things going within the 90-day window, the city could conceivably begin pursuing other developers to take the project over.

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