Federal Tax Credits For “The Harrison” Secured Moments Before Deadline

Mayor Tom Henry today confirmed that the New Markets Tax Credit component of the financing package for The Harrison has been secured and deployed. With this news, the last section of Harrison Square hits another important milestone along its development path.

These federal tax credits represent an essential portion of the funding for the estimated $18.5 million project that will bring new housing, office and commercial options into downtown Fort Wayne. This element was coordinated by the City of Fort Wayne through its Fort Wayne New Markets Revitalization Fund, working in concert with the principals of New Harrison, LLC, and PNC Bank.

“The Harrison’s private-sector partners are committed to the success of this final piece of Harrison Square,” said Mayor Henry. “The completion of the New Markets Tax Credit process and the ongoing activity on site are strong signals that this exciting addition to downtown Fort Wayne is confidently gaining momentum.”

The Monday announcement precedes the January 17 date designated as the deadline for finishing the New Markets Tax Credit work.

Part of the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000, the New Markets Tax Credit program is administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury. It creates a tax credit for equity investments in Community Development Entities to encourage location-based development projects. It provides the ability to offer lower-than-market-rate financing products for approved initiatives that advance local economic growth goals. Investors are permitted to take the credit over a seven-year period, at phased rates.

An update from the development team on The Harrison’s progress is anticipated in the near future.

In December, the City wrapped up its preliminary site-preparation work for The Harrison, part of its responsibility under the development agreement to make the setting “build-ready.” At a cost of approximately $80,000, the requirement included removing debris and unsuitable soil from the Jefferson Boulevard at Ewing Street location.

The Harrison is the concluding corner piece of Harrison Square, the private-public initiative composed of the record-breaking Parkview Field, home of the popular TinCaps; a hospitality-sector boosting Courtyard by Marriott hotel; a convenient 900-space parking garage; and the scenic Robert E. Meyers Park. Flourishing from the outset, this signature, city-center development has become a major economic-activity generator for the entire region.

-Mayor’s Office

The tax-credit component of the financing package for The Harrison has been secured and deployed, the city of Fort Wayne said today.

The federal tax credits are a part of the $18.5 million housing and commercial project at Ewing Street and Jefferson Boulevard.

The deadline for finishing the tax-credit work had been Tuesday, the city said in a statement.

It said the credits, part of the Community Renewal Tax Relief Act of 2000, allow lower-than-market-rate financing for initiatives that advance local economic growth goals.

Investors are allowed to take the tax credit during a seven-year period, the statement said.

The Harrison is part of Harrison Square, which includes Parkview Field, the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, a parking garage and Robert E. Meyers Park.

-Journal Gazette

Developers in charge of building the Harrison have secured a key portion of the oft-delayed downtown project’s funding, Mayor Tom Henry announced Monday afternoon.

The development team, New Harrison, along with the city and PNC Bank, have finalized the sale of federal tax credits that will help finance the Harrison – an $18 million residential, commercial and office building – according to a written statement.

“The Harrison’s private-sector partners are committed to the success of this final piece of Harrison Square,” Henry said in the statement.

“The completion of the New Markets Tax Credit process and the ongoing activity on site are strong signals that this exciting addition to downtown Fort Wayne is confidently gaining momentum.”

Tuesday is the deadline for lining up the tax credits. The developers also are trying to sell separate state credits to help fund the project.

Although construction crews have been working at the site since late last year, city officials and the Harrison’s developers have remained almost silent on the progress. City officials in recent weeks have denied multiple interview requests, saying the Harrison is now a private venture and referring all requests to the developers.

Drew Welborn, a spokesman for New Harrison, also has declined to comment on the matter.

In November, the city agreed to spend about $80,000 at the site to remove clay, sand, gravel and other debris unsuitable for building. That work was finished last month.

The Harrison was originally supposed to have been finished in summer 2009, but developers struggled to secure bank financing until last year.

-News Sentinel

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