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  • Longtime community leader Mac Parker talks about changes to Fort Wayne over the decades. Read the Journal Gazette guest column here.

  • By John Urbahns
    Division Director, Community Development

    Joel Harter, owner and CEO of Summit Brands, and his family have had a commitment to our city since its founding in Fort Wayne in 1958. Recently, Summit Brands took that commitment one step further by not only expanding locally but also by taking on the redevelopment of a brownfield site. On October 10, Summit Brands held a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating this expansion with the opening of their new 100,000 square foot distribution facility off of Conestoga Drive.

  • Redevelopment of blighted areas requires planning, replanning, development, and redevelopment. These public and governmental functions are used when the ordinary operations of private enterprise cannot accomplish those goals because:

    (1) the necessity for requiring the proper use of the land so as to best serve the interests of the county and its citizens; and
    (2) the costs of these projects.

    By State Statue I.C. 36-7-1-3, a "blighted area" means an area in which normal development and occupancy are undesirable or impossible because of:


    (1) lack of development;
    (2) cessation of growth;
    (3) deterioration of improvements;
    (4) character of occupancy;
    (5) age;
    (6) obsolescence;
    (7) substandard buildings; or
    (8) other factors that impair values or prevent a normal use or development of property.

    The planning, replanning, development, and redevelopment these areas must:

    (1) benefit the public health, safety, morals, and welfare;
    (2) increase the economic well-being of the unit and the state; and
    (3) serve to protect and increase property values in the unit and the state.

    Tax increment Financing (TIF) (the amount of property taxes generated from new growth and/or development) over and above a pre-existing base assessed value, have been used by the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission since the early 1980's to fund public projects. Tax Increment Financing has been used by the Commission to repay bonds and for revitalization or infrastructure construction projects.