- For the second year in a row, the value of building permits in Fort Wayne’s Allen County, Indiana, has hit the $1 billion mark, The Journal Gazette reported. By Tuesday, Dec. 4, the dollar amount of permits had reached $1.022 billion and daily volume was at a pace of $2.2 million, putting 2018 on track to be the best year for construction in the county for the last five years.
- The permits cover both commercial and residential projects and include new construction as well as renovations and repairs. As of Nov. 29, the value of commercial permits, a category that also includes multifamily and senior living projects, was $586 million. Projects owned by Fort Wayne Community Schools, East Allen County Schools, Lutheran Hospital and Lincoln Financial contributed to that figure. Residential project permits, which include several large developments, totaled $428 million as of the same date.
- This year is likely to beat 2017’s $1.032 billion, driven in part, county officials said, by owners and developers who want to avoid cost increases that could be coming in 2019.
One of the Fort Wayne projects helping 2018’s permit values along is a $35 million dual-branded hotel and retail project being developed by Blue Flame Hospitality. The Parkside project will feature 117 rooms under the banners of Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites by Hilton.
Designers are also getting ready to start work on the second and third phases of the Riverfront Fort Wayne project, a city initiative led by the Parks & Recreation Department. Work on the development will include a master plan for the Riverfront neighborhood, analysis and recommendations for project infrastructure, and the development of public improvements at the convergence of the Maumee, St. Marys and St. Joseph rivers. The project’s first phase, the $20 million Promenade Park, is under construction and should be complete in June 2019.
The state of Indiana is also ramping up construction as part of a $1 billion infrastructure program, which Gov. Eric Holcomb announced this past September. Paid for by a 35% increase in heavy vehicle tolls, the plan includes $600 million for the completion of Interstate 69’s Section 6, $190 million for state highway improvements, $100 million for high-speed broadband service to rural areas and $90 million for recreational trails.