Construction on the much-anticipated Fort Wayne riverfront development project is expected to begin this summer.
The Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners will take possession of three parcels of downtown riverfront property by Aug. 15, allowing construction to move forward on the planned public riverfront park.
Agreements were made with Red Bird Properties and Cambray and Associates last month for three properties along the south bank of the St. Marys River in amounts of $1.3 million and $850,000, respectively. The settlement came just as eminent domain proceedings in Allen County Circuit Court were set to begin. The park board closed on the properties Thursday, meaning the board now owns the properties and the condemnation lawsuits will be dismissed.
"We’re continuing to make positive progress in our collective efforts to enhance the riverfront to become a point of destination attraction for Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana," Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. "I’m encouraged by the ongoing support and excitement from the public and the momentum and investments we’ll experience as a result of developing the riverfront."
Environmental testing will start soon, and construction on the north bank will begin in July. The north bank will feature a tree canopy trail and trailhead, linking that area to the rest of the city’s Rivergreenway. The project is expected to be complete in late 2018.
Some of the park’s features will include a promenade, pavilion, event lawn, entry plaza with a sculpture or signage, urban bioswale, educational water feature, urban streetscape, central plaza, riverfront terraces, an elevated boardwalk, dock, interactive sculpture and children’s play area.