Tonight, it became official.
City Council passed the Legacy Fort Wayne proposal to spend up to $500,000 on a riverfront development study — a proposal which endorses Headwaters Junction as precisely the big, bold, and transformational project that Legacy Fort Wayne was designed to empower.
This is a crucial step that will formally explore the concept, determining the project’s feasibility, capital costs, economic and tourism impact, implementation with riverfront development, and much more. It is not guarantee of development or funding, but absolutely important to getting there.
Four years ago this idea was nothing more than ink on scrap paper. Three years ago I walked into the Community Development office asking how anyone with an idea does something in this town. Two years ago the idea was picked up by Legacy Fort Wayne and endorsed by them a year later. The last few months have been a true culmination: discovering the original Headwaters Park plan, learning that the idea was included in the mayor’s proposal and presentation to city council, experiencing once again the incredible success and impact of the train that inspired the idea, and seeing the interest, excitement, and work to remake Fort Wayne gather numbers, advocates, and good company.
Fort Wayne was built by makers; the bricklayers, boilermakers, tailors, canal diggers, railroaders. It’s an identity that propelled this idea forward and has created a city where even a twenty-something with an idea in their hand and a plan under their arm can get somewhere and maybe – just maybe – make a difference.