Brightpoint proposes to develop Enterprise Pointe, a unique living/working space at 800 W. Rudisill Blvd.
The project will bring nearly $8 million in new investments to the community to retain entrepreneurial talent, incubate new businesses, and stimulate the local economy.
Forty-eight units of affordable rental housing will be designed especially for small business owners, entrepreneurs, artists, and artisans. Enterprise Pointe will include three rehabilitated buildings from the former Taylor University campus, plus two new structures.
Amenities will be provided to residents to help develop successful small businesses, including conference space, meeting rooms, private offices, a copy/mail room, built-in workspace in each apartment, and an equipment library to house various tools of production.
A variety of partners will help support resident entrepreneurs, and the Brightpoint Development Fund (formerly CANI’s Center for Community and Economic Development) will provide educational and technical support as well as special small-business loans.
Over the past month, we’ve held a series of meetings with area residents about the proposed development. We’d like to hear from you, too. Please plan to attend an upcoming public meeting!
What About Zoning?
Currently, we are seeking to rezone the property from R1 to C2, a step that is essential to securing the investments needed for this project. Enterprise Pointe’s unique live/work concept requires C2 zoning. Legal restrictions will prevent any other commercial use of the site, and we have a written commitment (covenant) with the City to automatically revert to R1 zoning should the project not develop or cease operating.
What People are Saying
“…I am in full support of taking what are abandoned buildings and making them (and this neighborhood) continue to come alive. Between WunderKammer, Bravas, The Clyde Theater, and Wednesday Night food truck rallies at Faith Redeemer on Rudisill, it truly feels like 46807 is building a positive momentum—a trajectory bound to further grow with Enterprise Point.” — Stephen Eric Bryden
“We fully support this exciting and innovative project and we welcome the development and growth this will bring to our beautiful historic neighborhood! 46807 has long been a home to artists, entrepreneurs and a unique creative class. Furthermore, what a fantastic way to retain young talent from any of our excellent higher learning institutions. We are confident that Enterprise Point will increase home values, build on our current period of growth and and inspire new vibrancy in our area.” — Kevin and Erin Erb, Illsley Place
“Enterprise Pointe by Brightpoint will not only improve my neighborhood, but Fort Wayne as a whole. The 46807 zip code is already home to many artists, small business owners, and other people who are starting to build their lives here because of the affordable homes and welcoming community.” — Lauren Zuber
“The area seems to be attracting its share of new and even ‘hip’ businesses lately, such as Bravas Burgers and the Wunderkammer Co. on Fairfield. If Enterprise Pointe can lure artists and entrepreneurs to live and work there, that trend will only grow.” — of The News-Sentinel
“I think that it’s very difficult to see a $7 to 8 million investment in a property lower the surrounding property values, especially when the current property is, from my understanding, a burnt out structure that has been sitting empty for almost a decade.” — Dan Swartz, Wunderkammer Gallery
“I want everybody to know this is my neighborhood too. I live north of there, where I do live in a low- and moderate-income area already. I am willing to bet the value of my home on this one, which I realize I am doing with this. I think it will be OK.” — Connie Haas Zuber, president of the Fort Wayne Plan Commission
“So much effort is devoted to downtown that we forget how important neighborhoods are to Fort Wayne. This project has the potential to pump new life into a neighborhood that has suffered too many losses.” —News-Sentinel editorial
“Brightpoint is a highly respected local non-profit helping people out of poverty, which helps us all. This project also represents perhaps the last chance that Bethany and Schulz halls will be saved from the wrecking ball. Certainly, it’s hard to imagine anyone else investing $8 million there. I urge City Council to examine this project closely, ensure that the zoning safeguards are in place and listen to those speaking for common sense and opportunity.” — Christopher Guerin
Frequently Asked Questions*
How will Enterprise Pointe impact the neighborhood?
“It will be an innovated and unique project that meets several of the goals defined in the 46807 Quality of Life plan, including…revitalizing blighted and vacant structures on a major neighborhood street [and] providing business development support and business financing products…” — 46807 Steering Committee
Does the Mayor support this project?
“The redevelopment of the vacant college dormitory buildings into an affordable multi-family housing project will assist in stabilizing this neighborhood.” — Mayor Tom Henry
“The proposed project supports community preservation by providing infill housing that conforms to the existing neighborhoods…. The proposed development is compatible to the area and will materially benefit the neighborhood by renovating the vacant buildings [and] providing safe, decent, and affordable housing in the area.” — Mayor Tom Henry
How do tax credits leverage private investment?
“Since President Reagan signed the 1986 Tax Reform Act into law, LIHTCs (low income housing tax credits) have been incredibly successful, financing more than 2.6 million affordable apartments nationwide and supporting approximately 95,000 jobs each year, mostly in the small business sector…. Unlike in a direct spending program, private investors — not the federal government — provide all the equity up front and bear the financial risk.” — City Real Estate Advisors
Is rezoning really necessary?
“A use variance… creates an unacceptable amount of risk.” — Great Lakes Capital Fund
Will the Written Commitment really make a difference?
Brightpoint has “committed to voluntarily limit certain offensive off-site impacts and uses from the proposed development by causing a Written Commitment to be recorded against the subject real estate in the Office of the Recorder of Allen County, Indiana.” — Housing and Neighborhood Development Services, Inc.
* Note: Some of these letters refer to “Starter Village,” an earlier working name for Enterprise Pointe.