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New housing, retail space going up in downtown Fort Wayne

New housing, retail space going up in downtown Fort Wayne on the corner of Harrison and Superior

Posted: Dec 11, 2017 5:55 PM
Updated: Dec 12, 2017 9:37 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - The Riverfront Development project is well underway in downtown Fort Wayne and more housing and retail space is on the way. 

On Monday, Mayor Tom Henry announced a nearly $62 million housing and retail space project is going up on the corner of Harrison and Superior.

The developers, Continental Property Group say the space will be designed to include about 150 apartment homes and 20,000 square feet of retail space. Also going in is a city-operated parking garage that will have more than 1,000 spaces.

People already living downtown believe more housing will be a positive overall.

Melissa Thomson is excited about the new development, saying, "I think it's wonderful, the more things downtown the better. It's wonderful to live downtown. The more people that come down here, more people will come to our town to visit I think." 

Matthew Craig is also excited, with a side of skepticism.

"Well, it seems like there is a lot of new housing coming up downtown. It's hard to say at this point whether it's too much. I think with a lot of that going on, it might be overkill, but there is a lot of growth downtown, so I look at it as a positive thing for sure." 

Mayor Henry is excited about the project and says taxpayers won't pay any more money for the development.

"Unquestionably, this is another landmark decision for downtown fort wayne...the development company is putting up the entire amount of money, about $62 million. The City of Fort Wayne is going to pay them back about $20 million through leases on the parking garage, admission fees, and the like and that's going to be paid over 25 years," said Henry.

WFFT Local spoke with some other people who have an idea on how the retail space could be used.

"A grocery. Downtown needs a grocery store," said Craig

Thomson agreed, saying "A grocery store. Definitely a grocery store or a deli. Something, that's something we need down here terribly."

But no promises, developers don't know yet how the retail space will be used.

The project is expected to start early next year and wrap up in the fall of 2019.

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