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

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Cases: 614946

Reported Deaths: 9807
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion849231342
Lake45784693
Allen33103560
Hamilton29752316
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Vanderburgh19679255
Tippecanoe18150144
Johnson15234296
Porter14970172
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Madison11071223
Clark10852145
Vigo10819185
Monroe9496115
Delaware9193136
LaPorte9173164
Howard8325148
Kosciusko811485
Warrick683399
Hancock6783106
Bartholomew6659100
Floyd6522113
Wayne6194164
Grant6050118
Dubois559081
Boone557968
Morgan551996
Henry512365
Marshall507884
Dearborn488745
Cass487864
Noble476159
Jackson428747
Shelby423381
Lawrence395180
Clinton375845
Gibson375560
Harrison354046
DeKalb351365
Montgomery349754
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Miami325244
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Jay168723
Owen168338
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Carroll160616
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Parke13098
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Blackford112023
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Brown88835
Benton87110
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Martin75013
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Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4967
Unassigned0375

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 872918

Reported Deaths: 10856
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin102616707
Cuyahoga868931154
Hamilton65148455
Montgomery43662420
Summit35411766
Lucas31794634
Butler31451232
Stark26247445
Warren19939144
Lorain19378229
Mahoning17561339
Lake16350161
Clermont16235113
Delaware1463881
Licking13453142
Fairfield1301782
Trumbull12980317
Greene12226144
Medina11798169
Clark11094266
Wood10507158
Allen10031128
Portage9514111
Richland9275134
Miami927273
Marion7512113
Tuscarawas7455186
Columbiana7433124
Pickaway735250
Muskingum714042
Wayne7140172
Erie6253130
Ross5589100
Hancock556292
Scioto545365
Geauga518955
Darke474395
Lawrence464658
Union459130
Ashtabula457973
Sandusky440462
Huron435541
Mercer435590
Seneca435366
Auglaize425166
Belmont423948
Jefferson423969
Shelby422923
Washington396340
Athens38619
Putnam379276
Madison359930
Knox358423
Ashland349638
Fulton341744
Defiance336188
Crawford327274
Preble323637
Brown318821
Logan314835
Ottawa297443
Clinton293944
Highland282219
Williams282267
Jackson266145
Guernsey259326
Champaign254628
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Perry235518
Holmes227274
Henry222954
Hardin217033
Coshocton208023
Van Wert204445
Gallia200126
Wyandot198151
Pike180918
Adams179815
Hocking174024
Carroll158216
Paulding145521
Noble121040
Meigs110324
Monroe103433
Harrison89821
Morgan84531
Vinton71714
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