Columbia City designing “pocket” park downtown

A picture of the future pocket park in Columbia City.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) At the end of a row of buildings in Columbia City’s downtown sits an empty grass lot.

Passing by you probably wouldn’t even notice it, and while empty now it will soon be transformed into a small “pocket” park.

“The number one priority of our community was a vibrant downtown, and certainly with my generation and millennials we’re looking for a place where we can gather. We’re looking for a place that after hours the sidewalks down roll up at 5 p.m., so with this plaza what we’re trying to create is that type of space,” Mayor Ryan Daniel said.

It’s a space not much bigger than a basketball court where the city hopes people will soon use as a meeting place.

“A place where people can spend time together, walk and sit down and eat a lunch together,” Daniel said.

“To be able to have a place where we can take our children when we’re downtown that people can gather, can have lunch, can just sit and visit and can go and enjoy the outdoors downtown,” President of the Columbia City Main Street Association Liane Minier said.

The total project will cost about $30,000. Columbia City is one of seven communities to win a nearly $9,000 grant to help with the park, which will be called the Thomas Marshall Plaza.

It’s a big idea for a small community that prides itself on its homey atmosphere.

“The quality of life factor in downtown Columbia City is something that is so vibrant,” Minier said. “People are very proud of the hometown atmosphere that we have here.”

The project is expected to be complete in July.

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