Analysis Confirms Electric Works’ Catalytic Potential

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – An independent market analysis confirms that Electric Works can help accelerate Northeast Indiana’s economic momentum, with the unique reuse of a historic landmark helping to transform the local economy by attracting 21st-century jobs and talent to Allen County. The study, presented today by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, shows abundant demand for space on the West Campus of Electric Works and estimates that the current pricing levels are reasonable for the Fort Wayne market.

“For months, potential tenant companies have been seeking us out, specifically looking for the amenities proposed at Electric Works,” said John Urbahns, executive VP of economic development at Greater Fort Wayne Inc. “RCLCO’s market analysis confirms what we’ve been seeing firsthand—that there’s a demand for a project like this, and that Electric Works can be a transformational project for our entire region’s economy.”

The analysis shows strong market depth in Fort Wayne’s downtown office, residential, and retail sectors. RCLCO analysts projected an overall demand for 700 downtown apartment units, up to 115,000 square feet of retail space at Electric Works, and 650,000 square feet of downtown office space in the next five years, due to future growth and pent-up demand for new space.

According to the analysis, Electric Works can help satisfy those demands:

  • The apartment space (approximately 90-100 units totaling 82,000 square feet) on the West Campus is projected to be fully leased approximately one year after project completion.
  • The retail space (83,000 square feet including a food hall/public market) on the West Campus is projected to be fully leased within 1-2 years after project completion.
  • The office space on the West Campus (224,000 square feet, plus 83,000 square feet of innovation space) is projected to be fully leased within 1-2 years after project completion.

RCLCO analysts pointed out that RTM Ventures’ proposed pricing levels are reasonable for the Fort Wayne market, and that the adaptive reuse of this historic landmark can strengthen Downtown Fort Wayne, fueling regional job growth, talent attraction, and talent retention.

“As highlighted in the recent The Road to One Million plan, Northeastern Indiana can experience additional economic growth if it attracts and maintains younger, well-educated workers, who have driven much of the growth in other regions,” RCLCO managing director Adam Ducker said. “Instrumental in attracting these workers, new urban projects like Electric Works can achieve this goal by strengthening the appeal of Downtown Fort Wayne, both within and outside of the region.”

“Leasable downtown office space is a ‘must-have’ for many companies when they consider bringing high-wage jobs to Fort Wayne,” Urbahns said. “Right now, almost all of the existing space is occupied. Electric Works is a great start toward meeting market demand, and it’s part of a larger strategy for attracting high-wage jobs to Allen County.”

The market analysis was requested as a collaboration by the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB) and project developer RTM Ventures.

“A successful public-private partnership requires trust and transparency,” said Jeff Kingsbury, principal at RTM Ventures. “We’re grateful for the leadership of the Capital Improvement Board as we move forward with Electric Works.”

About Greater Fort Wayne Inc.

Greater Fort Wayne (GFW) Inc. serves Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana, as its primary point of contact for economic growth. GFW Inc. focuses on prosperity and community vibrancy through economic development, advocacy, programs, and resources that support business success, leadership development, graduate retention, and community engagement.