Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. sets sights on next decade with new plan
Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. announced the “Allen County Together” plan Thursday morning, a 10-year economic development plan created in collaboration with leaders around the community.
The plan is described as “a blueprint for the next 10 years of building a nationally recognized economy in Allen County.”
It features three overarching goals:
- Attract $1 billion in private investment to the riverfront in downtown Fort Wayne by the end of 2031.
- Attract and grow 2,500 net new high-wage jobs by the end of 2031 in R&D, engineering, IT, regional headquarters, and tech-driven growth industries.
- Build 2,500 on- and off-campus student housing units—and other amenities associated with local higher-education institutions—by the end of 2031 to help Fort Wayne become a widely recognized college town.
- Become recognized as a "Top-10 Music City" by the end of 2031 through expanded festivals, music venues, training and education, and music-industry innovation.
- Become a premier “Industry 4.0” automotive tech community and add 2,500 net new jobs in the automotive tech sector by the end of 2031.
- Enhance Allen County’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by launching a $10-million venture fund and accelerator by the end of 2026, housed at Electric Works. Grow the venture fund to $25 million by the end of 2031.
- Close the disparity gap by providing financing to underserved individuals and small businesses via expanded local community development financial institution (CDFI) capacity. Deploy $10 million in CDFI funding by the end of 2026 and $25 million by the end of 2031.
- Build catalytic development projects in southeast Fort Wayne that attract $100 million in capital investment by the end of 2026 and $250 million by the end of 2031.
- Attract and grow 2,500 net new jobs in southeast Fort Wayne by the end of 2031.
The full plan can be viewed on Greater Fort Wayne, Inc.'s website.
Allen County Together features concepts from existing community projects, including the Greater Fort Wayne Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Strategy, Fort Wayne’s Southeast Strategy and the All-In Allen comprehensive plan, and others.
The discovery process included 20 roundtable discussions led by the plan’s consulting team, along with individual interviews and ideas from community stakeholders like elected officials, developers, and community activists and advocates.
The plan came together with funding assistance from the City of Fort Wayne, Allen County Commissioners and Indiana Michigan Power. TIP Strategies from Austin, Texas helped in the development of the plan.