Redevelopment commission stamps approval on plan to buy former O - ABC21: Your Weather Authority

Redevelopment commission stamps approval on plan to buy former OmniSource site

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA 21) -

The Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission on Monday gave it's conditional approval to the City's purchase of a nearly 29-acre site that has sat dormant north of downtown for years.

The vote is just one step in the process that could eventually lead to redevelopment of the property that once housed a recycling operation. Many hurdles remain -- and some members of the City Council are not convinced that public money should be used to acquire the land.

Because of the environmental factors, and a potentially costly remediation effort, many believe there is little chance for the property to be purchased by an individual or private company. That's where the City would step in.

"Somebody has to purchase this from a governmental standpoint or it's never going to get to the point of being useful. It'll just sit here empty for another 50 years, and I don't think that's the right thing for this property," Council President Tom Didier told ABC21.

Last week, the Capital Improvement Board said it would consider providing $4.6 million to buy the acreage, allowing the government to clean it up and then re-sell it for development. Past suggestions for the site have included a STEAM Park (which could house an aquarium), an IMAX theater, education center or entertainment venue.

The OmniSource property is located near Science Central and is bounded by Clinton, Fourth and Harrison streets. 

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