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The Journal Gazette

Tuesday, March 15, 2016 10:13 pm

Verbatim: Community Foundation announces riverfront grants

The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne issued this news release today:

Fort Wayne (August 28, 2015) – The board of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne has approved $526,000 in grants for projects related to riverfront development in downtown Fort Wayne. The funding will be used for demolition and site preparation of a key parcel of property, as well as a feasibility study for a potential riverfront project.

“These grants will provide a significant boost to our riverfront development efforts,” said Deputy Mayor Karl Bandemer. “They will help lay the groundwork for some very exciting future projects.”

One grant, for $500,000, will be awarded to the Fort Wayne Downtown Development Trust for demolition and site preparation of property located at the northeast corner of Harrison and Superior streets. The site will be available for parking and other uses until the eventual development on the property is determined.

“With a project of this magnitude, first steps are the hardest. The Community Foundation is pleased to provide significant funding to get the project underway. Demolition of a non-functional property will provide open views to our rivers, parking for riverfront events and overall excitement with seeing the project beginning to take shape,” said David Bennett, Executive Director of the Community Foundation.

The second grant, for $26,000, was awarded to the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. The money will help fund a feasibility study for Headwaters Junction, a historic train operation center. The study will determine such items as the cost of the facility, potential revenue and expenses, and the economic impact of the proposed tourist rail and freight car operations.

The grants were reviewed by the Summit Initiatives Foundation, a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne, and approved by the Community Foundation board on August 13.

“We are pleased to be able to support this transformational project,” said Chris Rupp, board chairperson of the Community Foundation. “This represents only part of our $3 million commitment to the riverfront development efforts.”