Fort Wayne & NE Indiana News

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Update On Riverfront Development Efforts

A contract for final design, engineering development, construction documents, project bidding, and construction administration for the first phase of riverfront development will be discussed and possibly receive final approval at tonight’s City Council meeting. The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. in Room 030 on the garden level at Citizens Square, 200 E. Berry St.

The contract investment of $1.7 million is part of the $6 million in Legacy funding previously approved by City Council.

As part of tonight’s discussion, Parks and Recreation Department Director Al Moll will provide an update on progress that’s been made since last week’s City Council meeting to move riverfront development efforts forward under the leadership of Mayor Tom Henry.

The Board of Park Commissioners and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne have agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance the riverfront development process.

Highlights of the MOU:

*The Board of Park Commissioners will have overall governance responsibility for riverfront development.

*The Board of Park Commissioners will create an advisory committee to provide guidance in the planning and implementation of the public spaces to be constructed as part of the riverfront project.

*The Director of the Parks and Recreation Department and Board of Park Commissioners will provide resources dedicated for the daily managerial assistance, contracted or employed, of riverfront development.

*The Community Foundation will provide $1.556 million to the Parks and Recreation Department for funding of specified components of the public spaces for riverfront development. It’s also possible additional funding may be provided by the Community Foundation.

*The Parks and Recreation Department and Community Foundation will partner on future fundraising efforts.

Last month, Mayor Henry joined community leaders and riverfront advocates to unveil the schematic designs for the first phase of riverfront development to enhance Fort Wayne and the region.

Development would occur in eight areas on the south and north sides of the St. Marys River between Harrison Street and the historic Wells Street Bridge. Highlights of the plans include a promenade, park pavilion, event lawn, entry plaza with sculpture/signage, urban bioswale, educational water feature, urban streetscape, central plaza, urban riverfront terraces, elevated boardwalk, dock, interactive sculpture, and children’s play area.

The first phase of riverfront development will be focused on the public spaces in a park setting and anticipated future private riverfront development would occur in areas surrounding the public spaces.

For the construction phase to begin, the Board of Park Commissioners is in the process of acquiring three properties along Superior and Harrison streets.

It’s anticipated construction could start in mid-to-late 2017 with completion in mid-to-late 2018. The projected construction investment would likely be $20 million. Potential funding sources could be Regional Cities, Legacy, private contributions, and resources from the previous allocation of Legacy funding approved by City Council.

Residents wanting to stay connected to the Riverfront Fort Wayne initiative may visit