FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) -- Southeast Fort Wayne has struggled to attract economic growth for years, but now city leaders say they have a plan in place to change that and that plan was brought before city council on Tuesday night for introduction.
Sixth District Councilwoman Sharon Tucker says the strategy "Was a collective gathering of community voices," as business leaders and community members alike came together continuously for over a year to develop the new Southeast Strategy Plan.
The 2007 plan focused mainly on housing development, part of which was successful with the development of Bottle Works and the revitalization of the Renaissance Pointe neighborhood.
Tucker says the 2020 plan is building off of that, aiming to bring in unique businesses found nowhere else in the city.
"It would be lower hanging fruit to bring in an Applebee’s, but we southeast would enjoy it and absolutely would welcome it, but it wouldn’t invite anybody south to be able to see all that we have to offer," Tucker explained of the strategy.
The plan includes economic development in four high-traffic areas ias well as re-zoning to attract those unique companies.
Southeast resident and business owner Donita Mudd contributed to the plan. She says they also need larger businesses on that side of town if they want to see it grow.
Mudd explained, "That would bring people to work in this community and therefore, you know, need to get lunch. Maybe they need to go shopping, that kind of thing. So, typically, when they come, then the other business follows."
Tucker says part of the lack of economic growth on the southeast side of Fort Wayne is due growth in other parts of the city, but with a new plan in place, She says, "Southeast Fort Wayne is a space that’s prepared and ready for economic development and that was this strategy is doing."
A final vote from the Fort Wayne City Council on the addition of the Southeast Strategy Update and their guiding principles to the All-In Allen Comprehensive Plan is scheduled to take place in January 2021.