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City Announces $50 Million Mixed-Use Development On Pearl Street

City of Fort Wayne

Another major development effort will soon have a home in downtown Fort Wayne.

The seven-story project will be known as “The Pearl,” and will serve as a mixed-use building with 35,000 square feet of commercial and event space, 76 apartments and five “first of its kind live/work units.” It will be located west of the new Bradley boutique hotel and south of Perfection Bakeries, along Webster, Main and its namesake, Pearl Streets.

Chuck and Lisa Surack of Surack Enterprises are committing more than $50 million to the effort, $7 million of which will be dedicated to infrastructure improvements.

Chuck Surack says it will bring more business and commerce to downtown.

“We’ll have room for a coffee shop and a couple restaurants, and a big function space; a place for banquets and parties and that sort of thing that will hold nearly 300 people,” Surack said.

He says work will begin within the next month and it could take upwards of 18 to 20 months for the project to be complete, adding that it’s the “first of several things” they would like to do downtown.

Fort Wayne deputy director of redevelopment Jonathan Leist says The Landing and The Bradley served as catalysts for this, and beyond the Suracks’ investment, the only other funding would come from an extension of the area’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district.

“We look forward to seeing the completion of a new pedestrian-forward streetscape on Pearl Street, as well as new sidewalks, historic brick street maintenance and water and sewer improvements that will be completed as part of the Pearl project,” said Leist.

The redevelopment commission still must approve extending the TIF district to include the project site, which would then reimburse the developer for the infrastructure and streetscape improvements that are planned.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered, and hosted Morning Edition for the past few years. In 2022, he was promoted to Content Director.