Ground was broken Friday at 8611 Avionics Drive as Fort Wayne officials celebrated the start of construction on the city’s latest shell building. 

Mayor Tom Henry was joined by representatives from the city’s Redevelopment Division, GH Land Co. LLC and The Hagerman Group.

“This latest shell building will make us even more competitive in attracting new jobs and growing our economy,” Henry said in a statement. “Businesses no longer want just shovel-ready sites, they now want buildings they can complete to their specifications as quickly as possible.”

Fort Wayne has five shell buildings, three of which are occupied. Another is under construction.

Two shell buildings are at the intersection of Goshen Road and I-69 and are occupied by NISCO and ABC Supply Co. Faurecia Clean Mobility occupies a shell building at 4510 Airport Expressway, and the fourth shell building is under construction at 9107 Yeager Lane. 

“Both Great Lakes Capital and The Hagerman Group have a track record of effective public-private partnerships that have produced catalytic projects for communities,” GH Land Co. Managers Jeff Hagerman and Ryan Rans said in a statement. “The combined efforts of Great Lakes Capital, The Hagerman Group and the city of Fort Wayne will provide an important economic tool for Fort Wayne.” 

The city participates in the development project by reimbursing developers for interest on construction loans for up to five years. 

“These shell buildings fuel job creation and retention,” Redevelopment Director Nancy Townsend said. “The positive economic impact demonstrates why it’s so important to partner with the private sector by lessening some of the risk for the developers.

“Without the partnership, this work would not get done.”

The new building will be located on a 20-acre site near Fort Wayne International Airport and will offer 150,000 square feet that can be expanded to 240,000 square feet.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2019.

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