Southeast city suffers from being ignored
In reference to "Retail vacancy rate on the rise in the city" (June 26), I have lived on the southeast side of Fort Wayne for 53 years. This is the worst it has ever been.
As if it isn’t sad enough we are not involved in any economic development of consequence, we are losing the few retail businesses we already have, based on the Zacher Co. report of January 2015. The southeast side vacancy rate for January 2015 is 34.4 percent, up from 2014.
As a tax-paying citizen living on the southeast side of Fort Wayne, I am very upset. The worst indignity known is to be ignored.
We citizens are willing to make improvements where there is a need to our quadrant. However, we need businesses, and we need the city to assist with information so we can compete with northeast, northwest and southwest.
We are not seeking charity. We just want a level playing field. My prayer is that the silence of the south side of Fort Wayne is not due to a lack of hope. It is a call for action.
I promise the citizens of the south side of Fort Wayne: We will be great again.
Newspaper misses chance to teach lesson
On June 27, The Journal Gazette published a photo of a teenager skateboarding. I am an almost seven-year survivor of a traumatic brain injury, and it’s quite disheartening to see that people don’t wear helmets and that a newspaper would publish a photo with someone who isn’t wearing one. I’d appreciate it if editors thought hard about things they publish because this could be encouraging kids to not wear helmets with the caption "Rain won’t deter hair-raising stunts."
Brightpoint plan will change neighborhood
My husband and I have lived in the Foster Park neighborhood for 14 years. My neighborhood has been involved in numerous battles to prevent inappropriate projects that had the potential to have detrimental effects on the historical character of our neighborhood as well as property value. Each was conceived in isolation without regard to its effect on our residents and their quality of life.
Now we find ourselves in another battle. The proposed Enterprise Pointe venture has many good things to offer. It is hard to find fault with a plan that will restore and repurpose Shultz and Bethany halls in such a creative way. It is hard to find fault with a plan that will provide an affordable live/work complex for entrepreneurs and artists. These are good things. But the fact that the project requires rezoning raises serious questions and concerns about its placement in our residential neighborhoods.
Brightpoint has provided numerous links to successful live/work projects across the U.S. I have visited all these links and could not find one located in a residential neighborhood. They have all been situated in vacant, reclaimed commercial or industrial buildings, mostly in downtown areas. These are commercial enterprises located in commercially zoned areas.
Brightpoint has been unwavering in its claim that Enterprise Pointe cannot get funding without a C2 designation. If this is truly the case, might we then rightly assume that it belongs in a commercial setting? A promise to downsize the property to R1 should it fail to secure the tax credits necessary for funding does nothing to assuage the fact that Brightpoint is imposing a commercial enterprise on our residential neighborhoods.
This project has obviously been in the planning stages for quite some time, yet the neighborhoods were only apprised of it at the last minute. Perhaps we could have more readily embraced this project had there been a greater sense of collaboration from the beginning. Residents have spent the past four weeks scrambling to address the many questions and concerns about the long-term implications that come with placing this commercial enterprise in our midst. This does not bode well for how issues will be addressed and resolved in the future.
Our neighborhoods are among the most valuable assets of Fort Wayne. They are the lifeblood of our city. We should not have to spend so much of our time defending our homes and our quality of life. This is not an appropriate location for this endeavor, and rezoning will not make it right.
Foster Park Neighborhood Association
Brightpoint offers neighborhood chance
I have been a resident on Rudisill Blvd. for 30 years this month. I’ve watched as the Bible College left, then Taylor University left. Today, the neighborhood campus has a very responsible new owner, Ambassador, which has created The Summit, filling empty buildings with non-profits, college classes and conferences.
Now Ambassador hopes to donate its property on the north side of Rudisill to Brightpoint, formerly CANI, which plans, with $8 million in state tax credits, to create a live/work complex for lower-income entrepreneurs. In doing so, four buildings, including the historic Bethany and Schultz halls, will be restored and a new housing facility will be built. A zoning change will be required to allow for certain types of business activity. City Council will vote on this rezoning on July 14.
Unfortunately, this project has divided the neighborhood. The rezoning is a legitimate concern; other concerns, which have appealed to fear and mistrust, are unfortunate and without merit.
Brightpoint and The Summit have put measures in place to cause the rezoning to return to residential if the project either cannot go forward because the credits are not awarded or because the project fails.
I fear this will not be enough for what I believe to be a vocal minority, which began opposing the project because of the rezoning and now complains of everything from falling property values to a "poverty zone." Some suspect Ambassador is plotting to saddle this block of Rudisill with commercial zoning so that they can exploit it at will. I do not share these concerns.
Brightpoint is a highly respected local non-profit helping people out of poverty, which helps us all. This project also represents perhaps the last chance that Bethany and Schulz halls will be saved from the wrecking ball. Certainly, it’s hard to imagine anyone else investing $8 million there.
I urge City Council to examine this project closely, ensure that the zoning safeguards are in place and listen to those speaking for common sense and opportunity.
Commandments set path for a godly life
June 26, 2015 will be remembered as a day of infamy for Christian principles and Christian doctrine. An open door has been established to attack religious values that have been practiced for many years, and no end is in sight. Five Supreme Court Justices took it upon themselves to overlook biblical teaching that has been practiced for thousands of years, namely, that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman to unite and become one, to bear children and to love each other. However, our social climate is changing and individuals promoting change are looking to feel an insatiable desire of emotional companionship. They are overlooking the anatomical differences that exist between man and woman and why God created man and then said man needed a mate and created woman.
Why do we as intellectual people have to circumvent biblical teachings and make them fit our everyday quandaries? The answer to this is probably self-gratification of social issues. Why not live by the 10 commandments God gave us? Is this too much for us to comprehend, or do we choose to ignore them and rewrite our own commandments? Whatever choice one makes, a judgment day will occur.