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Bottle Works Lofts helps with southeast side housing shortage

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) – If you subscribe to the notion that a city could always use more quality housing, a project opening Monday on the southeast side will make life better for several dozen families.

But it doesn’t begin to address the full need for affordable housing for those who struggle to make ends meet.

The old Coca Cola bottling plant on East Pontiac is now fully renovated, serving a completely different purpose than before.

The manufacturing plant closed in the early 2000’s, and sat vacant for roughly 15 years.

Now, it has been carved up into 31 one, two and three bedroom lofts.

Miller-Valentine Group and Vincent Village worked as co-developers on the $14.5 million project, that involved new construction and lots of amenities, but features of the old plant were worked into the designs.

“To make sure that we kept the historic pieces and made them very distinctive from the new pieces, so you could tell what was history and what was new and how the building was adapted,” said Pete Schwiegeraht, with Miller-Valentine Group.

The project also included 19 lease to purchase single family homes that were completed last year and are already leased to families.

All of it is needed because studies show that 41 percent of local renters are “housing burdened”, meaning they are paying more than 30 percent of their total income towards housing expenses.

Bottle Works tenants will pay rent based on their income, so they will not be forced to choose between paying for rent, food or medicine.

The down side, despite what help this venture provides, the Fort Wayne Housing Authority still has more than 2,000 applicants on its public housing program waiting list.


Jeff Neumeyer

Jeff Neumeyer is a reporter for WPTA.

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