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Fort Wayne Unveils Plans For Second Phase Of Riverfront Development

Barrett & Stokely

The City of Fort Wayne unveiled preliminary plans for the second phase of the city’s massive riverfront development project earlier this afternoon at Promenade Park.

Promenade Park was the centerpiece of the first phase of the project, which was completed and opened in late summer 2019. Early goals for the second phase were revealed later that year with a 12-18 month completion window, but COVID-19 put planning on an indefinite hold.

But the wheels for phase two are back in motion, and will emphasize the creation of trails, a wetland boardwalk, an open-air pavilion, two new boat docks and more open park space.

Mayor Tom Henry outlined what the city hopes to achieve with the next phase.

“We’ll be moving primarily to the east, towards the Martin Luther King Bridge.," Henry said. "There’s all kinds of amenities that we’re going to be adding. But not only is it going to be a continuation of public space, but now we’re adding private development as well.”

Wednesday’s announcement showcased artist renderings for several new projects designed by developer Barrett & Stokely, which is already engaged in a mixed-use development on the riverfront.

These concepts include “The Wedge,” “The Shed,” and “The Lawn at North River.” 

Credit Barrett & Stokely

Community development director Nancy Townsend says before ground can break, the city needs to get its plans in order with state agencies like IDNR and IDEM.

“So we expect completing the plans and getting through regulatory permitting will be wrapped up sometime in April, maybe May of 2022? Then we’ll put it out for bid and construction will begin that summer,” Townsend said.

The bids will then need to be approved by City Council, and if that happens, the city hopes to see completion of phase two late next year.

Funding for the project is expected to cost $25 million and come entirely from the state’s 0.13% local income tax rate designed and approved in 2017 earmarked specifically for riverfront projects. Townsend said contingency planning in the design process will likely keep the amount closer to $20-21 million.

Zach joined 89.1 WBOI as a reporter and local host for All Things Considered, and hosted Morning Edition for the past few years. In 2022, he was promoted to Content Director.
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