Mayor Graham Richard today announced a new study shows a demand for housing in downtown Fort Wayne. Mayor Richard'€™s announcement came at the beginning of a daylong event, “Downtown Partners in Progress,” to showcase the housing study and downtown partnership development programs.

Zimmerman/Volk Associates, Inc. examined the residential market potential in the downtown core and the neighborhoods of West Central, Bloomingdale, Spy Run, southern part of Northside, and East Central.

Based on an analysis of lifestyles, consumer preferences and spending habits, the study shows that the downtown area could support up to 387 new market-rate housing units and 127 affordable housing units per year. The highest demand for downtown housing comes from young singles, couples without children, empty nesters and retirees, and a range of non-traditional families.

“There is action in downtown Fort Wayne. Downtown housing options are a key next step in our efforts to revitalize downtown,” said Mayor Richard. “We have positioned ourselves for growth and development. Investors and developers are looking to downtown because of excellent housing, job creation, business investment, and retail opportunities.”

In addition, “Partners in Progress” will feature a discussion by Gianni Longo regarding the implementation of the BlueprintPlus downtown plan. Another session will examine programs that have been created to assist the private development community. This session will bring together development professionals and community leaders for a working session geared toward sparking residential and commercial development downtown.

Downtown Partnership Development Programs
Community Revitalization Enhancement District
* This designation allows for a 25% investment tax credit for qualified investment that occurs downtown. The designation also allows the City to fund infrastructure improvements through the captured increased sales and income tax dollars generated by new investment downtown.

New Markets Tax Credit 
* Downtown features several new markets tax credit census tracts. The credit assists investors with improved interest rates and lower equity requirements.

Tax Increment Financing/Tax Abatement 
* The City works with investors to find the best combination for funding eligible public infrastructure improvements required for a project. Tax abatements are possible for real property improvements and personal property, including technology and information systems.