FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Redevelopment of the former General Electric plant near downtown Fort Wayne could be in jeopardy.
In a letter posted on the Electric Works website, developers said "there continues to be a small group of people in positions of influence and power, however, who are working aggressively to thwart the progress of this project and the potential of this community."
That is despite most people living in Allen County supporting the project, including people like Lottie Farver who lives across the street from the empty factory.
"I think maybe they should find out exactly what they are going to be disrupting before deciding that is not a good thing," said Lottie Farver.
Developers said investors are worried and potential tenants are hesitant to sign leases.
Indiana Tech, Fort Wayne Community Schools, Parkview Health and a farmers market have signed lease commitments for the project.
"I think it is one of the better things Fort Wayne is trying to do," Farver said.
Environmental cleanup is already happening at the old General Electric plant. Because of that, councilman Geoff Paddock who represents the area, said the project is too far along for it to fail.
"This is a too important situation, this is too important of a project, to let slip away," Paddock said.
As part of a redevelopment agreement signed last year, a mix of local municipalities will pay $65 million, including a $10 million grant from the Legacy Fund.
The federal government shutdown earlier this year delayed some tax credits, pushing back many deadlines.
"We're all working together to see a big, huge, project come forward. When Indiana does that, I really think we lead the way," Paddock said.
Developers have the end of the summer to meet their end of the redevelopment agreement. Once that is met, construction can begin.
City of Fort Wayne spokesman John Perlich released the following statement about the future of Electric Works.
"I would anticipate a status report on the Electric Works project from the City of Fort Wayne in the coming days. We remain an engaged and committed partner and want to see Electric Works succeed. The public sector has met all of the commitments for the project in securing $65 million in public funding to assist the private development team while also being thoughtful stewards of public money and protecting taxpayers."
You can read the letter from Electric Works developers here.