The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) says it has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding to support the development of the Riverfront Fort Wayne. Mayor Tom Henry and local economic development leaders broke ground on the project on June 29.
“The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative is helping transform communities throughout the state into nationally recognized destinations to live, work, play and stay,” IEDC president Elaine Bedel said in a statement. “Riverfront Fort Wayne is a visionary project that will enhance the region’s greenspaces, increasing economic development while building a vibrant urban core that serves as a catalyst for future development in Northeast Indiana.”
Riverfront Fort Wayne (Phase 1)
Most of the $17,154,559 Phase 1 work will be done by local contractors, The News-Sentinel reports. The only significant exception is a $3,069,000 contract to Kenny Construction of Northbrook IL (purchased by Granite Construction), which will build the concrete dock walls and the Tree Canopy Trail Trail, said John Perlich, city public information officer.
Riverfront Fort Wayne Phase 1 is a major piece of a long-term, transformative project to create a world-class riverfront in downtown Fort Wayne. The project will increase available recreation and entertainment opportunities, driving increased tourism and quality of place in Northeast Indiana. The first phase of the project will establish a park and community space along the St. Marys River, which will include a promenade, boat launches, overlooks, an interactive playground and trails. Phase 1 of this project will also anchor the Harrison Street corridor, support development around the Ash Skyline Tower and enhance the developments at the Grand Wayne Center and Parkview Field.
Phase 1 of the riverfront is expected to be complete by Nov. 2018.
Total project investment: $26.38 million
State funding: $5.1 million
(Conditional upon the receipt of permits)
“This is a great day in the City of Fort Wayne as we begin construction on a world-class project that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on Fort Wayne and the region,” said Mayor Henry. “Riverfront development provides unique opportunities as we work together to continue to be a point of destination community that’s a recognized leader in job growth and retention, strong neighborhoods and attractive quality of life amenities. We’ll remember today’s groundbreaking as a special moment in our ongoing commitment to moving Fort Wayne forward in the right direction.”
“We’re excited to get this project underway, and very grateful for all the support we’ve received from the entire community,” said Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll. “As we like to say, this park is by the community, for the community.”
Regional Cities Initiative in Northeast Indiana
This project was recommended for funding by the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and is part of the region’s Road to One Million plan, which outlines a short-term goal of 38 regional development projects in 11 counties totaling $400 million in quality of place investments, as well as a vision for more than 70 projects and $1.5 billion in public and private investment over the next 10 years. Through this long-term regional development planning, the 11-county region aims to attain one million residents by 2020.