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Fort Wayne Unveils Proposed Riverfront Development Design

The design for the first phase of Fort Wayne’s proposed riverfront development was unveiled Wednesday. 

It includes an event pavilion, outdoor fitness area, and terraced seating sloping down to the St. Marys River.

But before construction can start, the city needs to acquire three properties along Superior and Harrison streets, including Ream-Steckbeck Paint and Cambray Associates, a carpet and flooring store.

The property owners declined the city’s initial offer. In a previous WBOI report, property owner John Steckbeck says he was offered a higher amount in the past. The city is now trying to acquire the properties through eminent domain.

Mayor Tom Henry says he thinks they will reach a resolution, and he hopes construction can begin in the spring of 2017.

Credit Lisa Ryan, WBOI
Mayor Henry unveiled the design on the historic Wells Street Bridge.

The entire project is estimated to cost $20 million, which Henry says could come from a variety of sources, like state funds from the Regional Cities Initiative and private donations.

Henry says it’s important to invest in the rivers because it brings people to Fort Wayne, and he says riverfront development is what residents have asked for.

“So we’re gonna do it right. We’re not gonna do anything second class as we move this project forward,” Henry said. “It doesn’t cost that much more to go first class, and that’s what we need to do. If we’re going to take Fort Wayne to the forefront, then we got to do it right.”

He says he’s optimistic that the project can be completed by late summer of 2018.

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