Southeast Fort Wayne business development behind downtown

Has the excitement for business development downtown been the same for the southeast side of the city?

Posted: Nov 10, 2017 6:18 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - New businesses are seemingly popping up everyday in downtown Fort Wayne and while this development is seen as a positive sign by many, some say there isn’t the same development in the south east side.

Sit-down restaurants, media management companies, new hotels, and residential units, these are just some of the new businesses that have located in downtown fort wayne over the past 5 years.

However, some people feel that the mayor and business leaders aren’t doing enough for business development on the southeast side.

Ervin Upshaw, who works on the southeast side of Fort Wayne said “...I feel like dude just he really just not really paying attention to me. I feel like he say he paying attention to us, but he really not paying attention to the south side at all.”

The same sentiment was echoed by 6th district Councilman Glynn Hines, who the councilman for that side of town, saying
“they're making little to no strides. I think he's a good ribbon-cutter I don't think he has any teeth in what he says he wants to do.”

This is the feeling of many people living in southeast Fort Wayne who have seen a steady exodus of businesses, something Kirk Moriarty, the director of business development for Greater Fort Wayne Inc. says has been happening in many industrialized cities.

Moriarty said, “you look 30 years in the history of any midwest midsize market, there was a flight to the suburbs. There was a flight of our manufacturing jobs and industrial jobs and it's taking us awhile to replace that and I think slowly, but surely, we’re doing that.”

The city is already working on replacing those jobs with businesses like XPO Logistics, Multimatic, and the Walmart dairy processing plant all locating near the southeast side.

But, jobs aren’t the main concern as employment in the city is under 3% according to Councilman Hines, it’s retailers and restaurants that are missing.

“We have disposal in come we don't drive a lot of mercedes and lexus. We drive, you know, buicks you know things of that nature. So, we have disposable income and we go north to spend that disposable income and what my challenge is that we shouldn't have to do that. We should have the same Applebee's or a buffalo wings and things type of restaurants right here on the south side that they have in every other part of town,” Hines said

Ervin upshaw who works on the southeast side agrees, saying

“There’s a whole bunch of buildings you can just turn that into or like from the food places. We don’t have a dunkin donuts, we don’t have a tom’s...I forgot the name, but just little things like that can just help us.”

Hines believes that businesses are missing a golden opportunity, saying

“There's about 80,000 people that live in the south side of Fort Wayne between Calhoun Street to the city limits, which is basically the southeast quadrant. That’s basically 80,000 consumers.”

“People say that, you know, there’s no...You bring a business to the southside, you won’t make no money. But it’s just like, if you don't give no opportunities to it, then how can you say that,” said Upshaw

When asked if the city was missing an opportunity, Upshaw said,

“Yeah, yeah there's a lot of missed opportunities.”

Moriarty says a number of factors play into the selecting where a new business builds, one of which is housing. The construction of Prosperity Heights on Mckinnie Avenue and Bottleworks on Pontiac means more quality housing, and with how the southeast side is set up, Moriarty believes they are going to benefit from how the business world is evolving and new businesses will attract retailers and restaurants along the way. 

“I think we have a substantial advantage because even though you're even though you're seeing a paradigm shift in retail. Big box stores scaling down...I think the southeast stands in a perfect position to sell its wares to sell the fact that these well-organized very walkable very gregarious and amiable neighborhood residents who live in southeast and work in southeast are ready for that kind of new age retail environment,” Moriarty said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1506866

Reported Deaths: 20637
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion2056892545
Lake1006641508
Allen935801017
Hamilton72876550
St. Joseph64730759
Elkhart49383628
Vanderburgh48286528
Tippecanoe43764336
Johnson38300526
Hendricks36427460
Porter34494473
Madison29024543
Clark25868326
Vigo25633345
LaPorte23430309
Monroe23133247
Howard22089379
Delaware21603368
Hancock18686220
Bartholomew18152215
Kosciusko17921203
Warrick16933214
Wayne16230302
Floyd15876257
Grant15364298
Morgan14409231
Boone13514138
Noble11815141
Dearborn11676113
Henry11667201
Shelby11649151
Marshall11337168
Dubois11257152
Jackson10586104
Cass10269143
DeKalb10202130
Lawrence10196220
Huntington10156139
Gibson9583126
Montgomery9274143
Knox9043125
Harrison8983117
Whitley874371
Steuben8603105
Jasper8252115
Clinton818995
Miami8128133
Putnam8128100
Jefferson7849127
Wabash7827139
Ripley7180114
Adams6658102
Daviess6558129
Scott645186
White620483
Clay607175
Greene6064112
Decatur5967120
Wells5944120
Jennings591680
Fayette5786122
Posey552648
LaGrange529697
Randolph5073129
Washington503669
Owen4976100
Fountain475880
Spencer451756
Sullivan443065
Starke440586
Fulton434192
Orange429582
Jay414664
Rush410237
Perry386455
Carroll381749
Franklin377550
Vermillion358362
Pike323445
Parke322538
Tipton317375
Blackford274055
Pulaski272275
Newton233661
Brown228956
Benton219021
Crawford217532
Switzerland197814
Martin189422
Warren175922
Union170219
Ohio124016
Unassigned0739

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 2460869

Reported Deaths: 31245
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin2660682065
Cuyahoga2589843018
Hamilton1711291714
Montgomery1142371604
Summit1077801391
Lucas917461160
Butler81317942
Stark759401400
Lorain63561792
Warren51721475
Mahoning50412915
Lake47212605
Clermont45258429
Delaware40037212
Trumbull39108755
Medina38036419
Licking37943408
Fairfield34857334
Greene33267422
Portage31942360
Clark31218445
Richland29019423
Wood28563297
Allen25249395
Miami23567395
Muskingum22859245
Columbiana22539403
Wayne21740356
Tuscarawas19252427
Erie18390222
Ashtabula18260342
Marion18111232
Scioto17366207
Ross16832252
Pickaway15948178
Hancock15761228
Geauga15374223
Lawrence14350186
Belmont13767247
Union1375384
Huron13682182
Jefferson13250258
Sandusky13047199
Athens12272106
Knox11850198
Seneca11762200
Darke11111198
Ashland11022178
Washington10836168
Auglaize10540142
Crawford10172175
Shelby10101157
Brown9734140
Fulton9531150
Guernsey9423117
Highland9396148
Defiance9321135
Logan9228142
Clinton9087127
Mercer8902111
Madison8836106
Preble8265162
Williams8127135
Putnam7922135
Ottawa7809121
Champaign7782112
Jackson7582117
Perry731298
Coshocton7210136
Morrow712882
Fayette688687
Pike640586
Hardin6397128
Gallia614791
Adams6000124
Van Wert5923121
Henry586493
Hocking5718104
Wyandot491590
Carroll4909100
Holmes4814161
Paulding414664
Meigs387473
Monroe307468
Noble289351
Harrison287961
Morgan283348
Vinton247945
Unassigned08
Fort Wayne
Clear
17° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 8°
Feels Like: 10°
Angola
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 22° Lo: 7°
Feels Like: 18°
Huntington
Clear
18° wxIcon
Hi: 23° Lo: 9°
Feels Like: 18°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
19° wxIcon
Hi: 24° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 11°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
18° wxIcon
Hi: 25° Lo: 10°
Feels Like: 9°
Windy conditions are on tap for Saturday with highs near 30 degrees.
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events