Future Of OmniSource Land Is Still a Mystery

By Jeff Neumeyer

September 2, 2014 Updated Sep 2, 2014 at 5:40 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21ALIVE) --- Patience remains a virtue for those waiting to see a big development spring up on the old OmniSource land near downtown Fort Wayne.

Nothing is in the works now, yet Mayor Tom Henry believes that the property next to the Saint Mary's River still holds promise for "taking off" in the future.

Since at least 2006, when OmniSource vacated the high profile piece of land near the re-built Martin Luther King Bridge, there's been speculation about what kind of signature project might get traction there.

It just hasn't happened.

A couple of years ago, the property was in a state of decay, overgrown with weeds and brush.

Fast forward to the present, it definitely looks better.

Folks with "North River Capital" say they've trimmed trees and made other improvements for better curb appeal, but they also say no sale is imminent.

We asked Mayor Henry, if somebody pushes the idea of spending Legacy dollars to get something done on the land, would he support such an effort.
“When the riverfront study comes back, they may or may not include that piece of property. If they include it, then certainly we probably need to sit down and take a look at it, as to whether or not it's really feasible. And they may not include it, and if it doesn't, we'll just have to put that aside and talk to the Rifkins, perhaps sometime in the future," he said.

The Rifkin family owned OmniSource, and still owns the land in question.

The city had an option to buy that land in the last decade, with plans to convert it into a grandiose mixed-use development on the entranceway into the city from the north, but a deadline passed, and nothing ever materialized, largely because there remains some level of contamination underground on the site.

Results of the riverfront study are due to be released late this year.

It’s possible that could be the break needed to get something going.

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