City to request $6 million in Legacy funds for riverfront development

St. Mary's River
FILE: A view of the St. Mary's River near downtown Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)  Mayor Tom Henry held a news conference Thursday afternoon to provide a status report of Fort Wayne’s riverfront development efforts and the next steps moving forward which include a $6 million request for Legacy funds.

During the news conference it was announced that the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has gifted $3 million for a development master plan.

As for the Legacy funds, if approved by City Council, that money will go towards a two year budget to cover some of the costs of riverfront development work which include the following items:

  • Property appraisals
  • Environmental studies
  • Development of riparian plan for maintenance/riverbank cleanup/implementation
  • Perform soil boring work along the riverfront to assess any challenges that may exist
  • Planning for special programming to include a variety of activities along the riverfront
  • Engineering and design contracts for promenade
  • Headwaters Junction feasibility study
  • Ecology Center feasibility study
  • Property acquisition

The Legacy funds request will be introduced to City Council on Tuesday, April 28 with discussion and possible passage taking place in May.

One of the first projects to be undertaken as part of recommendations from SWA Group, the consultant hired by the City, is the construction of a waterfront promenade to be located on the south side of the St. Marys River.

Fort Wayne also plans to submit an application to receive $3 million from the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board to be used to acquire property for riverfront development.  The application will be presented at the board’s next meeting.

In a press release issued following the news conference it was noted that riverfront development will involve multiple phases and projects that will take place over decades.

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