You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.


  • Sony forecasts $2 billion loss, cites weak mobile
     TOKYO – Sony expects its annual loss to swell to more than $2 billion after writing down the value of its troubled mobile business as phone sales were battered by brutal competition.
  • Billionaire’s house arrest sends stocks crashing
      MOSCOW – The arrest of a Russian billionaire has sent shares in his holding company into a tailspin.
  • 2 firms to expand, add jobs
    A pair of companies will look to improve their operations with an investment of nearly $3 million combined, according to tax abatement ­requests filed last week with the city.

Downtown banking to grow

First Financial to announce plans for Anthony Wayne

Another bank is opening teller lines in downtown Fort Wayne.

First Financial Bank and city officials have scheduled an announcement for 10 a.m. today in the Courthouse Green across from the Anthony Wayne Building, 203 E. Berry St., to announce “downtown development plans.”

John Nichols, a partner in RCI De­vel­opment/BND Commercial, last week said the building's landlords were close to signing a lease with a bank for a first-floor branch and sixth-floor offices. First Financial officials had declined to talk about their downtown office plans.

Officials with the Cincinnati-based bank said in January that their office at 130 W. Main St. was temporary.

First Financial stormed into the market late last year when it hired about 10 percent of Tower Bank's workforce in the interim between Old National Bancorp's Sept. 10 acquisition announcement and when the $110.3 million deal for Tower closed on April 25.

A First Financial spokeswoman on Wednesday declined to share details of the company's investment in its new downtown location or hiring plans.

RediMed, a local chain of urgent care clinics owned by Luther­an Health Network, last week announced plans to occupy 3,400 square feet on the Anthony Wayne Building's first floor. The clinic, which is creating 10 jobs downtown, is scheduled to open in the fall.

The health care provider's $4 million investment includes work at some other locations.

Other commercial tenants in the Anthony Wayne Building include Anytime Fitness, 111 Design, Verizon Wireless and the law firm Snow & Sauerteig.

RediMed and Lutheran officials described the location as ideal because the building lies across Berry Street from Citizens Square, where 500 city and county employees work; across Clinton Street from the Allen County Courthouse; and downstairs from 38 new condominiums.

First Financial in early January named Rob Slusser the bank's Fort Wayne market president. He was formerly Tower's director of lend­ing and senior vice president.

Hiring an established team of commercial and mortgage lenders – the employees who generate much of any bank's income – is a common strategy for banks expanding into a new market.

The lending professionals have established relationships with customers who might be lured to the new bank for future loans. Among the banks with offices and walk-in banking service downtown are JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, 1st Source, Salin and STAR.