River Widening & Retail Promenade Among Consultants' Riverfront Concepts

By Eric Dutkiewicz - 21Alive

River Widening & Retail Promenade Among Consultants' Riverfront Concepts

July 23, 2014 Updated Jul 23, 2014 at 8:02 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) - The consulting firm in charge of helping riverfront development in Fort Wayne made their case to the public on Wednesday night.

SWA Group's three primary concepts included river widening, dedication to natural habitats and retail and commercial development.

The following ideas were released by SWA Group and provided by the City of Fort Wayne:

  • Lawton Park: Preliminary sketches suggest widening the St. Marys River at Lawton Park and creating a lake-like atmosphere. Lawton Park could be repurposed into an active park with options for an adventure playground, sandy area for volleyball and building sand castles, a possible Ferris wheel, porch swing grove, water features and more. An ecological area would run along Spy Run Creek
  • Bloomingdale & Guldlin Parks: Bloomingdale and Guldlin parks, on the west side of the study area, would focus on natural habitat. Relocating the levee in some areas would allow people to get closer to the waterfront; docks and floating platforms could be built. Recreation such as nature walks, canoeing, kayaking and bird watching could be emphasized.
  • Riverfront Promenade/Superior St. Development: Consultants suggest using a riverfront promenade to attract retail, commercial and housing development. The promenade would run along the St. Marys and connect Superior Street with Lawton Park by way of pedestrian bridges. Pop-up shops, restaurants, farmers markets and more could be located along the promenade, which would lead to a revitalized Superior Street. The promenade could also connect to Headwaters Junction on the north side of the St. Mary's. It would incorporate the existing depot and serve as a possible future home for the historic 765 steam locomotive.

    The public will have a second public meeting from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the theater at the Allen County Public Library main branch. The presentation will be at 11:15 a.m.

    Also, anyone interested in staying updated on Fort Wayne river development can visit Envision Fort Wayne Center, 916 S. Calhoun St., from 2 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Fridays. 2-6 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

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