The Board of Park Commissioners and Parks and Recreation Director Al Moll today announced Mark Becker will serve as a deputy director for the Parks and Recreation Department to serve in a leadership role in riverfront development efforts.
Becker’s previous experience in city government includes serving as deputy mayor, director of community development, and director of economic development for the City of Fort Wayne. He will begin his new duties Sept. 1. Becker continues to be owner of Becker Consulting, which provides professional consulting and community development services in the region.
“Mark brings unique talents and experiences that will be a tremendous complement to our community’s commitment to redeveloping our riverfront,” said Moll. “Teamwork and leadership are critical to the current and future success of Riverfront Fort Wayne. Having a dedicated and respected leader like Mark as part of this effort puts us in position to make a meaningful difference and continue the positive momentum in our City.”
The Board of Park Commissioners also named the members of the Riverfront Advisory Committee. The committee will provide guidance in the planning and implementation of the public spaces to be constructed as part of the riverfront project.
Riverfront Advisory Committee members:
Michael Barranda, City Council
Kathy Callen, Park Foundation
Mike Conley, Community Leader
Patti Hays, AWS Foundation
Jermaine Jackson, Community Leader
Dr. Pamela Kelly, Board of Park Commissioners
Ryan Keuneke, Community Leader
Rick Samek, Board of Park Commissioners
Tom Smith, Community Leader
Elbert Starks III, Community Leader
Don Steininger, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne
Stephanie Veit, YLNI
Irene Walters, Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne
Progress continues to be made 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 has been approved.
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.