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: 711787

Reported Deaths: 13252
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion970181723
Lake52028950
Allen39414672
Hamilton34709406
St. Joseph34386543
Elkhart27543433
Vanderburgh22109394
Tippecanoe21967213
Porter18043301
Johnson17600374
Hendricks16873310
Clark12728190
Madison12379337
Vigo12248244
Monroe11535166
LaPorte11258204
Delaware10390184
Howard9712211
Kosciusko9184114
Hancock8031139
Bartholomew7925155
Warrick7709155
Floyd7574176
Wayne6921198
Grant6862171
Boone6584100
Morgan6425138
Dubois6101117
Marshall5819109
Dearborn572076
Cass5706104
Henry5591101
Noble544583
Jackson494672
Shelby481995
Lawrence4351118
Gibson429789
Harrison429371
Clinton421853
Montgomery419387
DeKalb414484
Whitley383239
Huntington380480
Miami374165
Steuben368757
Knox367589
Putnam353660
Jasper352946
Wabash348578
Adams338453
Ripley335769
Jefferson318180
White309254
Daviess290199
Wells286981
Decatur279792
Fayette277362
Greene270685
Posey269533
Scott262053
LaGrange256170
Clay255245
Randolph236780
Washington231931
Spencer228231
Jennings225548
Fountain209845
Sullivan208342
Starke206452
Owen192956
Fulton192440
Jay186629
Carroll186120
Perry181436
Orange178553
Rush170824
Vermillion166543
Franklin166035
Tipton161543
Parke144616
Blackford134131
Pike130934
Pulaski114445
Newton104434
Brown100740
Crawford98114
Benton97613
Martin83315
Warren80215
Switzerland7728
Union70210
Ohio56011
Unassigned0408

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1060119

Reported Deaths: 19033
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1231961360
Cuyahoga1082602072
Hamilton786461170
Montgomery50403998
Summit45799915
Lucas40667768
Butler37904572
Stark31623896
Lorain24375473
Warren23987293
Mahoning21057584
Lake20176365
Clermont19500229
Delaware18198130
Licking16206207
Fairfield15822197
Trumbull15684461
Medina14984259
Greene14782236
Clark13718293
Wood12847185
Portage12503196
Allen11387229
Richland11110198
Miami10579214
Muskingum8734127
Wayne8633209
Columbiana8600226
Pickaway8456121
Marion8421135
Tuscarawas8401240
Erie7672154
Hancock6761124
Ross6734146
Ashtabula6576166
Geauga6568146
Scioto6326101
Belmont5679159
Union561047
Lawrence5483102
Jefferson5389149
Huron5341114
Darke5294121
Sandusky5213120
Seneca5169120
Washington5103108
Athens509856
Auglaize478383
Mercer473885
Shelby460892
Knox4424108
Madison427359
Putnam423199
Ashland415488
Fulton412767
Defiance406696
Crawford3898102
Brown388055
Logan375576
Preble372898
Clinton364660
Ottawa359978
Highland348660
Williams331274
Champaign323257
Jackson309551
Guernsey308949
Perry291149
Fayette278448
Morrow277639
Hardin266364
Henry264966
Coshocton261058
Holmes255199
Van Wert240063
Pike234931
Gallia233346
Adams230452
Wyandot228954
Hocking211459
Carroll189847
Paulding169239
Meigs142138
Noble133137
Monroe129141
Morgan107723
Harrison106136
Vinton81714
Unassigned02
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