No Set Plans for Downtown Property Purchased by Fort Wayne

By Megan Trent

June 24, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 2:11 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) - In a unanimous vote, the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission approves spending $1.3 million to purchase nearly two acres of land downtown.

The property sits along Ewing Street just south of Jefferson Boulevard. The land, paid for with tax revenue from Jefferson Pointe and Harrison Square, is actually four separate pieces of property neighboring Parkview Field.

Greg Leatherman, Executive Director of Fort Wayne's Redevelopment Commission, says about a year ago the city began talks with National Oil and Gas to purchase a portion of the land after the company decided not to build convenience stores on the site as previously planned. Now, the plan is to use that spot for a construction staging area while the Harrison Project is being completed.

An automotive business on the corner of Ewing and Jefferson is staying where it is, with no intention of selling.

The next portion of land has abandoned, boarded-up homes that will eventually be demolished. The two parcels to the south have homes that people are living in. However, one was already up for sale. The other is being bought for just over $67,000, with a commitment to help the family relocate.

Leatherman says right now, this is a land banking purchase for the city and there are no set long term plans for it's use in place. "It's accumulation of a significant parcel of land in the future that would be very useful to a development down the road, whether it be residential or commercial. It's just that we want it to be in the context of the plans that have been put forward by the city, and this will help us control that process."

Although the land is being purchased for less than it's appraised value, city officials believe the land will appreciate in value in the future. Leatherman also says that the property would have been appraised at a higher value as a single lot instead of the four separate pieces of land that currently comprise the area in question.

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