North River property agreement causes concern on city council

The 29-acre property is at the corner of Clinton and Fourth Streets, right across from Science Central.

Posted: Nov 12, 2017 10:49 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2017 8:44 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The City of Fort Wayne is asking city council to buy the North River property.

The 29-acre property is at the corner of Clinton and Fourth Streets, right across from Science Central.

City's proposed timeline for North River property
  • Nov. 13; Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission to consider becoming the title holder of the North River property
  • Nov. 14; Introduction of ordinance to City Council for the City of Fort Wayne to assume responsibility for any future environmental remediation, if required, at the North River property
  • Nov. 16; Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB) to consider a $4.63 million funding commitment to the City of Fort Wayne Redevelopment Authority to purchase the North River property. The CIB funding would be interest-free and repaid as future development warrants. No deadline would be required for repayment.
  • Nov. 21; City Council discussion and possible preliminary vote on the ordinance 
  • Nov. 28: City Council possible final passage of the ordinance 
  • Dec. 1; Closing between the City of Fort Wayne and Calhoun Investments, LLC 

The site was once home to a rail yard and an Omni Source scrap yard, but it's been vacant since 2006.

If city council approves the purchase agreement, the city would assume responsibility for any environmental clean up.

City of Fort Wayne spokesman John Perlich told WFFT the city has been interested in the property for about 10 years.

"I think at this point the city administration has a deal they feel happy with, but obviously there are some concerns about buying a property that has known environmental issues," said At-Large city councilman Michael Barranda.

Thursday, the city announced plans to buy the land for $4.63 million.

As part of the agreement, Fort Wayne would buy the property in its current condition and assumes responsibility for any environmental remediation.

Barranda said that shouldn't be the case.

"Anytime you buy a property, and that property has contamination on it, both the purchaser and the seller, are responsible for the remediation. That's why buyers go through their due diligence process to make sure they buy a property that isn't contaminated," he said.

If the sale goes through, this wouldn't be the first time taxpayers paid for environmental cleanup for new land.

Fifth district councilman Geoff Paddock said the city did the same in the 1990s for the land that is now Headwaters Park.

"One was here a filling station was that seeped oil. One was where the National Guard Armory was that we had to clean up spent shell casings that were driven into the ground," said Paddock.

The city plans to buy the property, clean it up, and then sell it for private development.

However, Paddock said the city could continue to tie the property to the rest of downtown across the river.

"There has been talk at some point having a pedestrian bridge go from headwaters park over the river to this site, whatever becomes of it," said Paddock.

There is a lot of interest in the property, including from the Lutheran Health Network for a new downtown hospital.

However, a source told WFFT that they aren't as interested as they once were because of the environmental concerns.

The source told WFFT LHN is still looking at other possible locations in the downtown area.

 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 663511

Reported Deaths: 12633
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion908511647
Lake48510882
Allen35951638
Hamilton32138398
St. Joseph30096513
Elkhart25423417
Vanderburgh21283379
Tippecanoe20096203
Johnson16380360
Porter16009272
Hendricks15855300
Clark11999181
Madison11764319
Vigo11636230
Monroe10363163
Delaware9854179
LaPorte9790197
Howard9075198
Kosciusko8574111
Bartholomew7479147
Warrick7430151
Hancock7418132
Floyd7226170
Wayne6645192
Grant6437157
Boone610389
Morgan6103125
Dubois5923111
Dearborn549068
Cass545899
Marshall5432105
Henry542593
Noble510178
Jackson465167
Shelby461490
Lawrence4189113
Gibson401781
Harrison401064
Clinton396553
Montgomery388483
DeKalb386478
Miami357663
Knox357585
Whitley349837
Huntington346277
Steuben339255
Wabash332376
Putnam331159
Ripley327762
Adams323949
Jasper317043
White297452
Jefferson295474
Daviess285596
Fayette271956
Decatur271088
Greene261680
Posey261431
Wells258575
Scott251250
Clay241544
LaGrange241270
Randolph225576
Spencer218030
Jennings215744
Washington212127
Sullivan203639
Fountain201842
Starke188451
Owen182853
Fulton179337
Jay178328
Carroll176519
Perry173435
Orange171150
Rush165322
Vermillion160842
Franklin159535
Tipton146841
Parke139416
Pike127833
Blackford120727
Pulaski106744
Newton96632
Brown95139
Benton92213
Crawford91013
Martin80214
Warren75814
Switzerland7558
Union67310
Ohio53911
Unassigned0433

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 972605

Reported Deaths: 16750
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1123671214
Cuyahoga961861832
Hamilton735721034
Montgomery47359903
Summit40384802
Butler35577505
Lucas35489685
Stark29456803
Warren22464271
Lorain22068414
Mahoning19509537
Lake18445318
Clermont18425201
Delaware16499116
Licking15022189
Fairfield14563180
Trumbull14369413
Greene13595218
Medina13423226
Clark12288248
Wood11575163
Portage11050164
Allen10793216
Richland10316183
Miami10035189
Muskingum8195112
Columbiana8151200
Pickaway8067107
Tuscarawas8054227
Marion7996125
Wayne7886193
Erie6914140
Ross6152128
Geauga6083136
Hancock6006116
Ashtabula5978152
Scioto596280
Lawrence527118
Union513537
Darke5036114
Belmont496659
Huron4825107
Jefferson4806107
Sandusky4780108
Seneca4702107
Washington465791
Athens465047
Mercer458780
Auglaize456180
Shelby441679
Knox4037101
Putnam399390
Madison393553
Fulton380658
Ashland380581
Defiance372583
Brown369844
Crawford358396
Logan355772
Preble353678
Clinton340852
Highland328349
Ottawa324369
Williams302662
Jackson290545
Champaign288149
Guernsey287844
Perry269847
Fayette269141
Morrow260334
Henry246658
Hardin245858
Holmes243293
Coshocton237454
Van Wert229854
Gallia222631
Adams217036
Pike215626
Wyandot210447
Hocking194554
Carroll181341
Paulding160530
Meigs135730
Noble129233
Monroe117027
Morgan101119
Harrison100624
Vinton76613
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Mostly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Angola
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 18°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
34° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 26°
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 23°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
32° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Sunny, Cooler Thursday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events