This month, the Fort Wayne City Council will decide whether to approve a design contract for the downtown riverfront promenade.
An ordinance approving a $390,000 contract with Riverworks Design Group will be introduced to the council Tuesday and discussed March 15. The funding for the contract will come from a $6 million Legacy Fund contribution approved by the City Council last year.
"This is an important next step in our efforts to continue the momentum and excitement about the future of our riverfront area," Mayor Tom Henry said in a statement. "By working together, we’re in position to develop unique projects along the riverfront that will strengthen our position as a local and national leader in economic development opportunities and quality of place amenities."
Riverworks Design Group is made up of Fort Wayne firms Design Collaborative, Hoch Associates, American Structurepoint, Engineering Resources and One Lucky Guitar. Forum Studio, which has offices in Chicago and St. Louis, is also a part of the design group. The group was chosen in November by the Riverfront Implementation Committee.
The promenade designs are anticipated to be completed in July and construction on the promenade could start in 2017.
In February 2015, SWA Group, the city’s riverfront consultant, completed a study that recommended a waterfront promenade be part of the first phase of projects along the downtown riverfront.
In addition to Legacy Fund money, the Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne and the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board have each pledged $3 million toward the project.
The contract up for introduction Tuesday is the first of several that will ultimately end up in front of the City Council.
Future contracts will include final design and engineering development, construction documents, project bidding and construction administration.
City officials are currently working on the first phase of the riverfront development, which is expected to take many years to complete.
One of the first steps has been property acquisition to make way for the new development.
On Feb. 12, the Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners authorized the parks department to make offers on several riverfront properties, which will be knocked down to clear space for a new waterfront park.