News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Mayor Henry announces progress in riverfront development efforts
Schematic design contract to be considered by City Council
(March 4, 2016) – Mayor Tom Henry today announced the contract for the schematic designs of a riverfront promenade will be introduced to City Council on Tuesday, March 8.
The contract will be discussed on Tuesday, March 15, with possible final passage on Tuesday, March 22. The investment for the initial contract is $390,000, which is part of the $6 million in Legacy funding previously approved by City Council. This is the first of likely multiple contracts that will go to City Council for approval.
Future contract work will include final design and engineering development, construction documents, project bidding and construction administration. Riverworks Design Group will also coordinate all permitting with various federal, state, and local agencies.
Pending final approval by City Council, Riverworks Design Group anticipates they will complete the schematic designs in the July timeframe. Completion of the future contracts will take approximately 15 months. It’s possible construction on the promenade could begin in 2017.
“This is an important next step in our efforts to continue the momentum and excitement about the future of our riverfront area,” said Mayor Henry. “By working together, we’re in position to develop unique projects along the riverfront that will strengthen our position as a local and national leader in economic development opportunities and quality of place amenities.”
In November 2015, Riverworks Design Group, comprised of Design Collaborative, Forum Studio, Hoch Associates, Engineering Resources, American Structurepoint, and One Lucky Guitar, was chosen by the Riverfront Implementation Committee, which is made up of local government, business and neighborhood leaders.
Design Collaborative, Hoch Associates, Engineering Resources and One Lucky Guitar are based in Fort Wayne. American Structurepoint has offices in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. The Forum Studio has offices in Chicago and St. Louis.
In February 2015, the City’s riverfront consultant, SWA Group, completed the City’s first-ever riverfront study and recommended building a waterfront promenade as the first phase of enhancements to Fort Wayne’s downtown riverfront. Work by the Riverfront Implementation Committee has focused on the first phase of the promenade on the south and north sides of the St. Marys River between Harrison Street and the historic Wells Street Bridge.
The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is a partner with the City to develop the riverfront. The Community Foundation has committed to providing $3 million toward the riverfront implementation efforts. In addition, the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB) has set aside $3 million to be used for property acquisition for riverfront development.
Leaders continue to emphasize that development along the rivers will take time. Potential projects will be done in phases over decades. Public-private partnerships will need to be formed for initiatives to get started and be successful.
Residents wanting to stay connected to the Riverfront Fort Wayne initiative may visit www.RiverfrontFW.org.