February 8, 2022 - Mayor Tom Henry’s Administration today announced a plan to purchase three existing buildings at the Avenue of Autos along Illinois Road to relocate a number of City of Fort Wayne functions to maximize resources and efficiencies for the public works and public safety divisions.
Under the proposal, Fort Wayne’s Fleet Department would move to 633 Avenue of Autos. The Radio Shop and the Fort Wayne Police Department’s storage operations would move to 811 Avenue of Autos. The Street Light Maintenance, Sign Shop, and Traffic Signals departments would move to 505 Avenue of Autos.
Currently, the Fleet Department occupies a facility that was built in 1954 and last saw renovations in 1969. The Radio Shop is in a 1958 building that is over capacity and needs substantial repairs and upgrades. The FWPD storage facility is leased at an expense of $50,000 per year and is running out of space. The Traffic Operations Department’s Street Light Maintenance team occupies a facility from 1940 that needs substantial repairs and upgrades, and the Sign Shop and Traffic Signals facilities are in spaces built in 1920.
Right of Way Landscaping and the City’s Test Lab would move to a remodeled 325 East Murray St. The Test Lab is operating in a 1957 building on Lafayette Street that would be demolished and developed as green space. The Street Department would be able repurpose the current Fleet Department structure for indoor equipment storage. The current Radio Shop would be placed for sale.
The City projects the investment to be in the range of $14.88 million and would be able to be paid for from existing City funds. The investment would represent a significant cost savings to taxpayers as building new structures would have likely cost $34.7 million.
A resolution requesting the purchase of the properties is scheduled to be introduced at tonight’s City Council meeting. Approval from the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission will be required as well. The purchase will be considered by the Commission at its meeting on February 14.
“This plan represents unique opportunities to enhance our ongoing commitment to provide excellent service to the public,” said Mayor Henry. “We work each day to meet the needs of residents and businesses in a fiscally-responsible manner as good stewards of taxpayer dollars. As a growing and thriving community, we’re in a positive position to move forward with this transaction to help move Fort Wayne forward with continued momentum.”