City Announces Partnership For South Calhoun Redevelopment
The city of Fort Wayne announced a major development partnership Tuesday targeting a south side commercial corridor.
Named the Summit City Match, this program is funded by the city along with a grant from JP Morgan Chase. The first part of the pilot project is directed to the South Calhoun Street area, connecting businesses with vacant buildings along the corridor between Murray Street south to Rudisill Boulevard.
The pilot program will be administered by the city’s Summit City Entrepreneurship & Enterprise District, or SEED. Officials hope it will fill six or more vacant buildings along South Calhoun, with six grants for a minimum total of $200,000, according to a press release from the City of Fort Wayne. The plan includes leveraging more than $500,000 in private investment from business and building owners.
“Entrepreneurship is vital to the continued health of our local economy,” said Mayor Henry. “This program will take our efforts to support small businesses to a new level and will help create jobs as well as contribute to the revitalization of our south side neighborhoods.”
So far, the pilot gram has drawn support from a number of organizations including Greater Fort Wayne Inc., the Greater Fort Wayne Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Fort Wayne Black Chamber and Latinos Count.
It is modeled on the Detroit Motor City Match program, which was announced in 2015.
“Summit City Match addresses critical needs of entrepreneurs: locations to grow, access to capital, and technical assistance,” said Jim Cook, executive director, Middle Market Banking at JPMorgan Chase. “When small businesses succeed, our communities and neighborhoods succeed.”
Applications via SummitCityMatch.com must be received by June 30. Printed applications may be picked up at Fort Wayne Urban Enterprise Association, 1830 Wayne Trace. Questions may be directed to askSEED@cityoffortwayne.org or at 260-422-2304. Spanish-speaking residents may call 260-427-2222 and Burmese-speaking residents may call 260-427-5151.
According to officials, a selection committee will review all applications to ensure they meet required criteria. Building and business owner matches will be announced in August 2019. Businesses must open on South Calhoun Street within one year of receiving a financial award and are expected to remain there for at least two years. Program participation does not guarantee financial awards.