Browning Plans 7 Acre Redevelopment on Former Pepsi Warehouse Site in Fort Wayne

New mixed-use project to enhance vibrancy and activation on the north side of the Riverfront

Today, Mayor Sharon Tucker, the City of Fort Wayne’s Community Development Division, and development and construction company Browning Real Estate Partners (Browning) announced a major redevelopment of the former Pepsi warehouse site along the north side of the St. Marys River. 

“Browning is thrilled to be the developer of this truly transformative project,” said Chelsea Leiter Thompson, vice president of development at Browning. “Creating a new ‘First-Day Destination’ for the city is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We look forward to partnering with the City of Fort Wayne to create a place that will be enjoyed for and across generations.”

The project, to be named the Treeline District, will transform the north side of the river with public spaces, diverse uses, and a landmark destination, enhancing Fort Wayne’s tourism market. Bound by Harrison Street, the St. Marys River, Wells Street, and 2nd Street, it will feature a lively, thoughtfully designed mixed-use center, blending indoor and outdoor areas and creating ample space for active uses. The district will reconnect with adjacent residential areas by re-establishing the street grid and through height transitions and redesigned streetscapes. 

In addition to street and utility infrastructure improvements, the first phase of development is anticipated to include approximately 250 apartment units, 7,500 square feet of retail, and a parking garage with public parking. This multi-purpose project will include an extension of Riverfront public space by adding a new public park area that blends seamlessly with the Tree Canopy Trail and existing Riverfront amenities. 

“We prioritized the importance of creating new environments that attract people to visit and participate in the district, catering to all generations and promoting inclusivity, affirming the City’s core belief that the Riverfront is for everyone,” noted Browning’s Chief Development Officer, Adam Chavers.

Established in 1977 and based in Indianapolis, Browning is known for developing, building, and managing significant commercial real estate projects across the Midwest. Browning’s selection culminates an RFP process undertaken by the City to find a developer for the site. The goal of the process was to select a development partner who will advance the City’s goal of creating a Riverfront area for everyone, embracing inclusivity, sustainability, and the vision of transforming the Riverfront into vibrant, active, mixed-use, human-scale spaces. 

In May 2022, the Fort Wayne City Council approved acquisition of the 7-plus acre distribution facility for $4.5 million, and late last year approved the funds for its demolition. 

The project further leverages the City’s continued multi-million-dollar investment along the Riverfront, including Promenade Park and the Tree Canopy Trail. 

“I’m looking forward to working with the Browning team as they bring an innovative and unique mixed-use offering to our community,” said Mayor Tucker. “Our Riverfront continues to be very popular with residents and visitors. Having an enhanced quality of life for all is critical, and this newest project will help ensure that we meet the needs of our growing City.” 

The City’s Redevelopment Department and Browning have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to work together to complete a detailed Development Agreement for the project over the next several months. 

Following the completion of a development agreement, construction for Phase I of the Treeline District is anticipated to begin in 2025.