Fort Wayne unveils riverfront development designs

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — Designs have been revealed for the next phases of Fort Wayne riverfront development. DAVID RUBIN Land Collective presented the city’s riverfront consulting team with renderings of public spaces on the north and south sides of the St. Mary’s River from Promenade Park to the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge and from Promenade Park to the Ewing Street Bridge, along with concepts for the north and south sides of the St. Mary’s from Ewing Street to the Van Buren Street Bridge.

The land collective also unveiled private development concepts, along with land use and zoning recommendations and flood management. 

“Throughout this process, we have heard from the public that riverfront development should be inclusive of Fort Wayne’s diverse population,” said David Rubin, principal of Land Collective. “These designs ensure that all residents and visitors can enjoy the rivers and experience them in new and exciting ways.”

Phase II designs include incorporating the levee, with construction expected to begin in the next 12-18 months. Plans include: 

  • Space for a short-term boat, kayak and canoe docking;
  • A variation of the tree canopy trail in Promenade Park connecting to an overlook deck on the 3rd Street Pump Station;
  • A wetland path;
  • A terraced lawn with amphitheater seating; and
  • Space to build a future private restaurant and public restrooms.

Phase III highlights include:    

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  • A lookout tower 
  • A wetland boardwalk through Guldin and Bloomingdale parks
  • A pedestrian bridge connecting the north and south sides of the St. Marys River;
  • An enhanced boat ramp with additional parking;
  • A relocated levee in Bloomingdale Park, which would allow for more storage of floodwater;
  • A lawn bowl that could be used for sledding in the winter;
  • A nature play area for children; and
  • Recreation areas including basketball courts.

Phase III construction would not begin until Phase II is complete. Development concepts include concentrating development around Promenade Park, focus on new private development on publicly owned land and to provide for several residential options, including market-rate, affordable, rental and owner-occupied condominiums and townhomes.