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: 926604

Reported Deaths: 15083
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1262201958
Lake626901087
Allen52772747
Hamilton43283445
St. Joseph41475584
Elkhart33129488
Vanderburgh29927439
Tippecanoe26589247
Johnson23267415
Hendricks21902340
Porter21473341
Clark17150224
Madison17065379
Vigo15815273
Monroe14298190
LaPorte14108237
Delaware13771219
Howard13635262
Kosciusko11232134
Hancock10637160
Warrick10523176
Bartholomew10341167
Floyd10200202
Wayne9690218
Grant8939196
Morgan8734158
Boone8299109
Dubois7596123
Henry7469128
Dearborn745187
Noble7294101
Marshall7237128
Cass7097117
Lawrence6862150
Shelby6457107
Jackson643981
Gibson6036106
Harrison595585
Huntington591891
Montgomery5706102
DeKalb563591
Knox537599
Miami531983
Clinton527164
Putnam525367
Whitley516251
Steuben486367
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Pulaski158751
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Newton140742
Benton139816
Brown132646
Martin126916
Switzerland123510
Warren113416
Union93511
Ohio77211
Unassigned0468

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1342777

Reported Deaths: 21471
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1502191556
Cuyahoga1327732318
Hamilton962791318
Montgomery659161136
Summit555141045
Lucas50248862
Butler46732653
Stark40741974
Lorain31004529
Warren29609328
Mahoning26462637
Clermont25206287
Lake24339416
Delaware22014143
Licking20180241
Fairfield20139221
Greene19955268
Trumbull19500508
Medina19478286
Clark17565325
Richland15949231
Portage15851228
Wood15438208
Allen13875256
Miami13549249
Muskingum12261149
Wayne11647237
Columbiana11344239
Tuscarawas10657265
Marion10509148
Pickaway10301128
Scioto10082126
Erie9618171
Ross9209174
Lawrence8516116
Hancock8298141
Ashtabula8180185
Geauga8066155
Belmont7966184
Jefferson7324168
Huron7253127
Union717849
Washington7037119
Athens681064
Sandusky6734133
Darke6559136
Knox6475121
Seneca6237137
Ashland5808112
Auglaize580488
Shelby5654101
Mercer552190
Brown551068
Defiance5361100
Madison535170
Crawford5299114
Highland527581
Fulton520082
Clinton515980
Logan503182
Preble4902110
Putnam4778106
Guernsey454661
Williams448281
Champaign436264
Perry432152
Ottawa431184
Jackson413260
Pike378941
Morrow369150
Fayette367652
Coshocton359466
Hardin350069
Adams348069
Gallia338054
Holmes3197108
Henry318868
Van Wert307170
Hocking291669
Wyandot276158
Carroll256752
Paulding236442
Meigs205242
Monroe185049
Noble164840
Morgan159228
Harrison151940
Vinton133918
Unassigned05
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