"Topping Out" Marks Progress

"The Harrison" Reaches A Milestone

By Jeff Neumeyer

July 18, 2012 Updated Jul 18, 2012 at 6:12 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (Indiana's NewsCenter) -- One more step has been taken in the quest to realize a vision for downtown Fort Wayne.

The roof of the east stair tower on a four-story complex was put in place Wednesday afternoon, signifying completion of the highest point of construction for “The Harrison”, a much anticipated residential, retail and office building near the city’s professional baseball field.

"The Harrison" is now far enough along to permit visitors to tour the facility.

There are four floors in total, offering balcony views of Parkview Field.

A bank branch, restaurant, and hopefully other retail tenants will occupy the first floor.

The Carson, Boxberger Law Firm is set to take up residence on the second floor.

The top two floors are fashioned to host 43 upscale apartments.

Douglas Perry and his wife have already leased the biggest unit on the fourth floor.

It rents for more than $2,100 a month.

He breezed through the apartment Wednesday, getting a feel for his future surroundings.

" We lived on the upper east side of Manhattan for years. So, we're very comfortable with urban life, we're empty nesters, it just seemed like a good location,” says Perry, who is Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Indiana Tech.

“ We love baseball, it's near work. If you have people living downtown, you turn what is already a lovely downtown into an actual community."

Wednesday marked a milestone for the project.

Construction workers, elected officials and regular citizens were invited to sign the last beam before it was hoisted to the top of the building, a construction trade tradition called "topping out".

Finishing work, mostly under roof, will be taking place much of the remainder of this year.

" The Harrison Square project itself has taken several years to complete. It’s one step at a time," said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, who helped lead the commemorative ceremony.

15 of the 43 apartments have now been leased.

Stairwells have been opened, meaning prospective renters can finally come take a look for themselves.

" Obviously, for the visual person, being able to walk through your space, being able to get in your apartment, I mean, I think we're going to have some people who get down here and go, the downtown side is perfect for me," said Breck Geeting, who leases the units for BND Commercial Realty.

The retail and commercial space should be occupied by mid-January.

Plans call for apartment dwellers to start moving in February 1st.




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