- Ash Brokerage, the developer of the project, is relocating its Fort Wayne headquarters into the building.
- DuCharme McMillen & Associates is relocating its offices from the city's north side into the Ash Skyline.
- Barnes & Thornburg is moving its offices down the street in the Indiana Michigan Power Center into the project. That building is owned by Hanning & Bean, which was supposed to invest $30 million in an apartment project as part of the Ash Skyline project until it pulled out of the project.
- Other tenants include a Lake City Bank branch, a fine chocolate store, a YMCA branch and a restaurant.
Sunday, March 27, 2016
Heavily-Subsidized Ash Project In Fort Wayne Hailed As Making Market More Competitive
So Fort Wayne used its downtown TIF and Legacy Fund to heavily subsidize the construction of a 9-story, $98 million mixed use commercial development in the heart of downtown. The city's investment in the project is about $39 million, which included construction of a parking garage, land acquisition, site preparation, streetscape improvements, utility upgrades and other project enhancements. A story in today's Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette reports the new development is filling up face with new tenants and "creating a more competitive market for commercial space." A closer look at who is leasing space in the development gives a clearer picture of who actually benefits from this major public investment:
The question not asked by the Journal-Gazette is how the city's $39 million public investment in the project benefits the public. What happens is that taxpayers who don't reside in a TIF district wind up being higher taxed to make up for the tax dollars being cannibalized by the TIF district's projects. As can be seen by this project, there's no net development benefit for the greater Fort Wayne area. Jobs and money are just being moved around. So yeah, Ash's building is getting new tenants, but it's coming at the expense of other landlords. I guess you can call that increased competition. I call it picking winners and losers.