Fort Wayne debates effect of Downtown Development Trust on private investment

A story in Sunday’s Journal Gazette about the non-profit Downtown Development Trust asks the right questions and encourages the correct debate on these kinds of efforts:

Several local leaders hope to re-create that venti-sized success through the Downtown Development Trust, a non-profit that allows them to sell properties at a discount to folks who promise to open businesses bound to draw crowds.

The trust is in final negotiations to sells its first purchase, the former Instant Copy building at 232 W. Wayne St. Officials expect to close the deal in May.

Supporters say the trust is an important vehicle for downtown renewal. But at least one city official worries that developers might rely on attractive deals available from the trust and pass up other downtown real estate ripe for reinvention.

Sounds like a non-profit, non-governmental trust could be a good idea, but Mitch Harper’s concerns are legitimate. What do you think?

— Photo by Cathie Rowand of The Journal Gazette

One Response to Fort Wayne debates effect of Downtown Development Trust on private investment

  1. Michael Barranda May 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    As always, Jon, the devil is in the details…and the people behind the process. However, here is an article.

    I understand Mitch’s concerns. However, if operating correctly, the trust should be ‘flipping’ properties that are otherwise not viable as a private investment, or helping to land bank areas to hold for long term development plans.

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