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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, June 29, 2017 8:00 am

Verbatim: IEDC touts riverfront funding

Regional Cities Initiative to support expansion along the St. Marys River

The Indiana Economic Development Corp. issued the following news release today:

INDIANAPOLIS (June 29, 2017) – The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has approved Regional Cities Initiative funding to support the development of the Riverfront Fort Wayne. Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry and local economic development leaders will break ground on the project later today.

"The Indiana Regional Cities Initiative is helping transform communities throughout the state into nationally-recognized destinations to live, work, play and stay," said Elaine Bedel, president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation. "Riverfront Fort Wayne is a visionary project that will enhance the region's greenspaces, increasing economic development while building a vibrant urban core that serves as a catalyst for future development in Northeast Indiana."

RIVERFRONT FORT WAYNE (Phase 1)

Riverfront Fort Wayne Phase 1 is a major piece of a long-term, transformative project to create a world-class riverfront in downtown Fort Wayne. The project will increase available recreation and entertainment opportunities, driving increased tourism and quality of place in Northeast Indiana. The first phase of the project will establish a park and community space along the St. Marys River, which will include a promenade, boat launches, overlooks, an interactive playground and trails. Phase 1 of this project will also anchor the Harrison Street corridor, support development around the Ash Skyline Tower and enhance the developments at the Grand Wayne Center and Parkview Field.

Phase 1 of the riverfront is expected to be complete by November 2018.

Total Project Investment: $26.38 million

State funding: $5.1 million

(Conditional upon the receipt of permits)

“This is a great day in the City of Fort Wayne as we begin construction on a world-class project that will have a lasting and meaningful impact on Fort Wayne and the region,” said Mayor Henry. “Riverfront development provides unique opportunities as we work together to continue to be a point of destination community that’s a recognized leader in job growth and retention, strong neighborhoods and attractive quality of life amenities. We’ll remember today’s groundbreaking as a special moment in our ongoing commitment to moving Fort Wayne forward in the right direction.”

“We’re excited to get this project underway, and very grateful for all the support we’ve received from the entire community,” said Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll. “As we like to say, this park is by the community, for the community.”

Regional Cities Initiative in Northeast Indiana:

This project was recommended for funding by the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority (RDA) and is part of the region's Road to One Million plan, which outlines a short-term goal of 38 regional development projects in 11 counties totaling $400 million in quality of place investments, as well as a vision for more than 70 projects and $1.5 billion in public and private investment over the next 10 years. Through this long-term regional development planning, the 11-county region aims to attain one million residents by 2020.

Northeast Indiana was one of three Indiana regions selected to receive state funding through the Regional Cities Initiative, which will allocate a total of $126 million toward 100 quality of place projects totaling more than $2 billion in combined state, local and private investment in order to retain and attract top talent to the Hoosier state.