The Legacy Fort Wayne process will be refined in 2012, concentrating on:
• Core economic investments in business retention and expansion, strategic infrastructure improvements, wage growth and the improvement of better skills;
• Downtown and riverfront development, including arts and cultural projects, transit improvements and the provision of incentives for commercial development; and
• Continued development of initiatives to promote Fort Wayne as a center for youth and prep sports, including the creation of additional facilities.
Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly reports: Supporters of a proposed railroad-themed, mixed-use development near downtown Fort Wayne plan to use the delay in the determination of how the city should spend $77 million in City Light lease and community trust funds to hone the details of their proposal.
“It gives everyone who’s vying for certain opportunities time to flesh out what they want to do,” said Kelly Lynch, project manager for Headwaters Junction.
“Based on feedback on the city’s Legacy website, Headwaters Junction, which would showcase the Nickel Plate Railroad steam locomotive No. 765, was one of the most popular proposals. Of some 900 ideas proposed to the task force, it also made the short list of 24 the task force said last August were worthy of further consideration.”
“Something people my age would like to see going forward would be a more meaningful place at the table when it comes to getting further into the Legacy process. I think our collective perspective tends to see the city in a very particular way, and allows us to be constructively critical because we care so much. We want our city to be itself, genuine and organic. We don’t want cookie-cutter ideas dropped in on us or to inherit ideas that never asked for our input.”
While he appreciates the time and care the city is devoting to the process, “at the same time I think we’ve really got to start identifying things we’re going to do,” Lynch said. “I think people want less planning and more projects under way.”
But subjects like the development of Fort Wayne’s riverfront have been discussed for decades, Lynch noted. “I think people should ask not just what should happen, but why hasn’t it happened already?”