News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Downtown Riverfront Team Gets To Work
(December 3, 2013) – The first comprehensive look at Fort Wayne’s riverfront development possibilities is now underway. The Downtown Riverfront Development team led by SWA Group is in Fort Wayne for three days to meet with City staff and community leaders.
“We are excited to get the study underway,” said Deputy Director of Planning and Policy Pam Holocher. “The purpose of the study is to look at all the opportunities and challenges that are part of riverfront development. From there, we’ll ask citizens what they want to see along our rivers and create a specific plan for action.”
The Downtown Riverfront Development Study is intended to provide the road map for a world-class investment. Areas of focus will include land use; engineering and infrastructure investment; environmental and ecological issues; watershed and flooding issues; connectivity to trails, downtown and nearby neighborhoods; access to the river; retail; entertainment; and housing.
SWA Group, an urban planning, design and landscape architecture firm working worldwide from seven locations, was chosen by a panel of City and community leaders to conduct the study. SWA has extensive expertise in riverfront development in the U.S. and around the world. SWA’s team will include Fort Wayne-based MKM Architecture + Design; Biohabitats; Moffatt & Nichol; Market Feasibility Advisors; and AMEC. Additional information about SWA can be found at www.swagroup.com. The SWA Team is headed by Kinder Baumgardner, a landscape architect who works globally.
“SWA is thrilled to be working in Fort Wayne,” said Baumgardner. “It’s clear your community has a great deal of momentum right now, and taking advantage of your rivers is the next step in creating a world-class city. We’ve taken dozens of cities through similar processes with fantastic results and we know Fort Wayne is poised for similar success.”
While in Fort Wayne, the consultants will gather information about everything from water quality to historical information to zoning regulations and will talk with local engineers, water quality specialists, environmentalists and more. After the information-gathering phase, the consultants will reach out to the public to determine what local citizens want to see along the rivers and then provide options to which the public can react. The entire process should take 12 to 18 months.