Nick Arnett’s 12 Cities project is researching how cities capitalize on Entrepreneurial Ability, Social Connectivity, and Quality of Opportunity. He offers his opinion on Headwaters Junction here:

At one time, Fort Wayne was a hub for creation, innovation, and transportation. From the conception of the television to the creation of mammoth-sized locomotives, to later becoming a powerhouse for creation of large trucksand military vehicles, we had an identity of mobilization that was constantly moving us towards the future. Somewhere along the line, we broke our love affair with our identity of mobility and began to feel.. awkward. We tested the waters of other messages (the awkward-teenager syndrome), but nothing we tried on really seemed to fit right. The vision Kelly has that he shared with me on that trip offers us an opportunity to reclaim that lost identity and use it to propel us forward in a confident, steadfast manner called Headwaters Junction.

This isn’t your typical mass-mixed-use development, obviously. That’s because this is purposeful development; this is something that achieves the much-desired impacts of the North River development (whatever it may be), but also offers the benefits of a historical attachment to Fort Wayne’s past, a catalyst for reclaiming our identity, and places an emphasis on connectivity with existing assets so that everything is working in a comprehensive format that further multiplies the desired impact. This is something that makes sense. A lot of sense.

As you scroll through the homepage of the website, one phrase reaches out and grabs my attention: “experience Fort Wayne’s story and create your own.” Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but the way this is worded sends chills up my spine. Headwaters Junction offers an opportunity for you to experience – to fully immersive yourself – in Fort Wayne’s story, while creating your own. You’re involving yourself in Fort Wayne’s concrete historical identity and using it as a foundation for the evolution of our identity moving forward. Knowing where we’ve been is critical to identifying where we’re headed.

To find our future, we first must remember our past. Headwaters Junction offers us an opportunity to remember and – most importantly – embrace what has made us who we are as we look towards who we will become.

Hats off to you, Kelly Lynch, for realizing how critical a steam locomotive is to the Summit City’s future.