In Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry’s address to City Council last week, he presented an overview of the Legacy Fort Wayne process and recommendations for where it should head next. Riverfront development took center stage as the one most deserving of immediate action and investment and we are proud to report that Headwaters Junction remains part of the final recommendation. In the section titled “Comprehensive Riverfront Development Master Plan and Implementation” under Study Scope we find the following:
The Headwaters Junction proposal proved to be big, bold, and transformational. Incorporating this feature within a mixed-use development should not be overlooked. The consulting form should give HWJ its due diligence when developing a vision for our riverfront and North River.
You can download the recommendation from legacyfortwayne.org here.
It is likely the city’s consulting firm (when selected) will subcontract to a railroad consulting firm specializing in tourist and railroad development. The city has many factors to consider in riverfront development including hydrology, economic impact, public and private land use, environment mediation, and a host of other challenges. Due diligence by the consulting firm and its subcontractors will:
- determine the overall capital investment needed to facilitate the development of HWJ
- perform a detailed pro-forma Feasibility Study of the tourist rail and interpretative center operation
- perform a feasibility study of maintaining and developing freight rail service over the assumed-by-then developed interpretative center infrastructure, determining whether incremental operation of freight rail services would advance economic development and provide economic benefits to the City and subject endeavor
- determine the economic impact of the proposed tourist rail and freight rail operations and create an implementation-ready business plan
Additionally, Fort Wayne Magazine’s November issue illustrates a strong case for Headwaters Junction in its coverage of potential riverfront development ideas, commenting that the 765 would “look great” steaming past the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge.