The Harrison Won't Use City Tax Dollars, So Says Redevelopment Director

By Scott Sarvay
By Jeff Neumeyer

February 15, 2011 Updated Feb 15, 2011 at 7:06 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) - They will build it, or they will pay.

There were cheers Monday when it was announced a sliver of land beyond the left-field wall of Parkview Field would be turned into a residential and retail center over the next 14 months.

It’s the final piece of Harrison Square.

The project is more than two years delinquent, so how does the city make sure it will get built?

A big incentive for the developer would appear to be avoiding some significant fines and penalties for not seeing it through to the end.

About 150 people, many of them community leaders, were on hand in the Grand Wayne Center lobby when it was revealed the long-delayed project called "The Harrison" is finally a "go".

Three tenants, including a law firm, credit union and Irish pub, have committed, and a health club is on the verge of signing up as well.

42 high end one and two-bedroom apartments will also be built and leased on the upper floors.

A settlement agreement that extends through December 2012, could force Hardball Capital and Barry Real Estate to pay up to $2.4-million in fines if they don't hold up their end of the bargain.

Greg Leatherman/Fort Wayne Redevelopment Director: " This project must be completed, not just started, in order for them to avoid those payments and those penalties. We expect them to complete it well before then, but there is a settlement agreement in place, and those fines will be assessed if the project did not get finished."

Leatherman believes such deadlines focus the mind for all of us, and he feels deadlines plus the threat of penalties helped motivate The Harrison's developers.

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