FORT WAYNE – A plan to convert a historic building into downtown apartments has won the tax credits that will enable the project to go forward.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority awarded the Randall Lofts apartments in downtown Fort Wayne nearly $675,000 annually for 10 years in rental housing tax credits. Carmel-based RealAmerica Development plans to convert the historic building at 616 S. Harrison St. into 44 one- and two-bedroom apartments.
This is good news for downtown Fort Wayne, said Heather Presley-Cowen, deputy director of the Office of Housing and Neighborhood Services. This is yet another development that will contribute to the revitalization of the area, bringing residents downtown to live and shop.
Renovation of the building is estimated to cost $7.5 million, with the city of Fort Wayne contributing $600,000 in federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program money, of which $450,000 is a loan and $150,000 is a forgivable loan.
RealAmerica proposes to convert floors two through five into 44 apartments. The street-level floor will continue to be used for commercial purposes; it houses businesses including the Downtown Grind Coffee House and Happinest Photo.
Its another option for downtown housing and a reuse of a historic building downtown, mayoral spokesman John Perlich said. Were excited to be moving forward and excited to have RealAmerica involved in the project.
Construction is expected to begin in late summer or early fall.
The Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority awarded more than $14 million in rental housing tax credits to 20 housing developments throughout Indiana, but two other projects in the city hoping for the competitive awards were not among the winners.
Community Builders Inc. of Chicago wants to build 86 duplex and multifamily rental residences in the Renaissance Pointe neighborhood, but said the project could grow to as much as $50 million and include 200 units and possibly retail properties.
Millennia Housing Development wants to create the Villages of Hanna Townhouses, a 32-unit development that would take root at Eden Green apartments.
But both of those projects depended on getting the tax credits, and neither was among the winners this year.
According to the West Central Neighborhood Association website, the Randall Building was originally owned by Perry A. Randall, one of the original investors in the Jenney Electric Co.
The Randall Building, built in 1905, was initially expected to be an addition to the Randall Hotel next door, but was used as commercial space, first by an interurban railroad passenger depot and offices, a shoe factory, and a shirtwaist factory. The Seavey Hardware Co. occupied the entire building from 1914 to 1920, and the Wayne Hardware Co. used the structure until 1979. It was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.