In Your Corner: Road For Sale?

By Ryan Elijah

April 15, 2011 Updated Apr 15, 2011 at 9:19 PM EDT

Each winter, customers visiting the Georgetown North Shopping Center deal with potholes and each spring the potholes are filled. That process got a little more complicated when major tenants like Hall's Restaurant moved years ago and the owners association slowly became inactive.

When the property taxes weren't paid, a service road, leading to all the businesses went to a tax sale in 2008. It was eventually sold last November to a private investor for $370.

Most of the owners at Georgetown didn't realize that the stretch of road had gone to a tax sale, but they got a major surprise in December when the owner had concrete barriers placed in the road, essentially blocking traffic, and their customers.

Gregg Conser/Conser Music Owner "we came in one morning and there were concrete barriers in place blocking both the traffic"

That was in December, the Police and Fire Marshall told the new owners they couldn't block off the road. The road was purchased from the county by the Page and Witherspoon Group. The CEO told us his company buys a number of properties and they thought this was a lot. The road was blocked initially for liability concerns and when asked about any future plans for the road, the response was "undetermined", but a cobblestone road was mentioned.

City officials confirmed to us the road is not a public street and they say there are other similar situations in Fort Wayne involving shopping developments, this one however has taken a different turn.

"this is the first time where someone has taken a road used for years for access and then essentially blocked it off", said Rick Orr, Director of Transportation and Administration for Fort Wayne.

From the city's perspective, it is essentially a private matter, but one that they would like to see resolved to limit the impact on the busy intersecting streets of State and Maplecrest.

Meanwhile, Conser Music and 5 other businesses have filed with the state to form a new owners association. They also expect the potholes to be fixed soon. As for the future of this access road, it's safe to say a number of legal departments will be monitoring any future developments.

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