WASHINGTON, D.C., March 15, 2021 – The National Trust Community Investment Corporation (NTCIC) announces the successful financial closing for the first phase of the redevelopment of the historic General Electric (GE) factory complex in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The $286 million revitalization will transform the former industrial campus into Electric Works, a lively 730,000+ square-foot innovation district. NTCIC provided critical capital sources for the project, including an equity investment into the more than $40 million in federal Historic Tax Credits (HTC) generated by the project, as well as $12.5 million in New Markets Tax Credit Allocation. This represents NTCIC’s largest Historic Tax Credit investment in company history.
“Electric Works exemplifies the type of historic revitalization initiatives that NTCIC finances through federal community development incentives like the HTC and NMTC,” said NTCIC President Merrill Hoopengardner. “Our capital will enable the redevelopment of an iconic historic complex, restoring a dormant asset into a dynamic resource for the Fort Wayne community.”
For over 100 years, GE was an anchor in the community, employing more than 20,000 individuals in Fort Wayne during WWII. However, by the late 1960s, local operations began to decline, eventually turning its sprawling 1.2 million-square-foot campus into a ghost town. The company permanently closed the 39-acre complex in 2015 and it was acquired in 2017 for redevelopment by a partnership led by Durham-based Ancora Partners.
The first phase of Electric Works – West Campus – is expected to generate nearly $300 million in economic impact to the local region. When the West Campus opens in 2022, it is estimated to generate almost $400 million in annual economic impact.
Now slated for completion in 2022, the first phase of Electric Works will reactivate the now-vacant campus to provide a mix of commercial, office, healthcare, education, research, and innovation space. It will be anchored by the new headquarters of Do It Best Corp., a global member-owned hardware, lumber, and building materials cooperative and Indiana’s largest privately held company. The campus will also be home to a new public STEAM high school with a science and technology-oriented curriculum that will prepare over 300 students for both college and the workforce. One of the largest healthcare providers in Indiana will operate a primary care clinic and pharmacy, providing services to 15,000 patients annually for the medically underserved population. The project will also provide space for a farmers’ market to expand the number of vendors and the number of market days. Restoration efforts will create and support nearly 2,000 construction-related jobs, creating a new home for 1,500 permanent jobs upon completion.
The $286 million public-private partnership was financed with a diverse capital stack, including NTCIC’s federal HTC investment that was funded in partnership with two of NTCIC’s federal HTC investors including the recently-launched Climate Impact and Revitalization Fund. Financing also included $51 million in NMTC allocation from five different Community Development Entities, including the $12.5 million from NTCIC. Additional public and private financing sources included $60 million in state tax credits, bond financing from the City of Fort Wayne, and $22 million of LP capital.
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