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Riverfront Fort Wayne next phases revealed

The City of Fort Wayne’s riverfront consulting team tonight revealed designs for the next phases of riverfront development, some of which could be under construction within the next 12-18 months.

Posted: Dec 5, 2019 11:03 PM
Updated: Dec 6, 2019 10:12 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — The City of Fort Wayne’s riverfront team revealed designs for the next phases of riverfront development on Thursday.

The redevelopment team showed renderings for the public spaces on the north and south sides of the St. Marys River, from Promenade Park to the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge and from Promenade Park to the Ewing Street Bridge. 

Phase II will include:

  • Space for short-term boat, kayak and canoe docking
  • A variation of the tree canopy trail in Promenade Park that connects to an overlook deck on the 3rd Street Pump Station
  • A wetland path
  • A terraced lawn with amphitheater seating
  • Space to build a future private restaurant and public restrooms

Phase III will include:

  • A wetland boardwalk through Guldlin and Bloomingdale parks
  • A lookout tower that residents and visitors can climb
  • A pedestrian bridge connecting the north and south sides of the St. Marys River
  • An enhanced boat ramp with additional parking
  • A relocated levee in Bloomingdale Park, which would allow for more storage of floodwater
  • A lawn bowl that could be used for sledding in the winter
  • A nature play area for children
  • Recreation areas including basketball courts

This will be considered Phase II of the riverfront redevelopment.

They also presented Phase III public space concepts for the north and south sides of the St. Marys River from the Ewing Street Bridge to the Van Buren Street Bridge.

"I think it's brilliant, I like the whole scheme of it," says Dick Reddemann, a Fort Wayne native.

Reddemann moved from the suburbs to the downtown area to be closer to work but added he wanted to be near the development of downtown Fort Wayne, which the riverfront district will help.

"I don't think I pictured anything as nice as this," he says.

In addition to the renderings for the public spaces, the Land Collective team revealed concepts for private development, and recommendations for land use and zoning, infrastructure and flood management in the Riverfront District.

“Today we are taking the next steps in continuing our commitment of creating a vibrant Riverfront District that will become a welcoming destination for residents and visitors,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “These next phases will build on our extraordinary success with Promenade Park and encourage even more private development in the area.”

Designs for Phase II incorporate the levee, allowing residents to walk to the top and then relax in gathering spaces where they can enjoy the views and access other park amenities.

“Throughout this process we have heard from the public that riverfront development should be inclusive of Fort Wayne’s diverse population,” said David Rubin, principal of Land Collective. “These designs ensure that all residents and visitors can enjoy the rivers and experience them in new and exciting ways.”

Construction on Phase II is expected to begin within the next 12-18 months.

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