Progress continues to be made on riverfront development efforts. On Thursday, the Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners, Red Bird Properties and Cambray and Associates closed on the final three riverfront properties located in the area planned for Riverfront Development Phase 1. The properties will be transferred to the Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners and the condemnation lawsuits will be dismissed.
Purchase of the properties was funded by the collective efforts of the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board and the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne. The Downtown Development Trust facilitated the transaction. The Board of Park Commissioners will be able to take possession of the land by August 15 or before.
“We’re continuing to make positive progress in our collective efforts to enhance the riverfront to become a point of destination attraction for Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “I’m encouraged by the ongoing support and excitement from the public and the momentum and investments we’ll experience as a result of developing the riverfront.”
Testing for any environmental issues on the land will begin in the near future. Construction on the north bank is slated to begin in July, with construction on the south bank expected to begin in August. The project completion date is still targeted for late 2018.
The first phase of riverfront development will be focused on the public spaces in a park setting. Development will occur 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 team leading the design work is Riverworks Design Group, comprised of Design Collaborative, Forum Studio, Hoch Associates, Engineering Resources, American Structurepoint, and One Lucky Guitar. The project is managed by the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department with The Hagerman Group serving as Construction Manager.