Construction on the first phase of the Fort Wayne Riverfront project will commence this summer now that the entire property is secured.
On March 9 the Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners, Red Bird Properties and Cambray and Associates closed on the final three riverfront properties needed for the project, the park board said in a statement March 10. The properties will be transferred to the park board and the condemnation lawsuits will be dismissed.
Environmental testing of the properties will begin in the near future.
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 park board will be able to take possession of the land by Aug. 15.
“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,” Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said in the statement. “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.”
Construction on the north bank is scheduled to begin in July, with construction on the south bank expected to begin in August. The project completion date is set 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.