July 23, 2014. – Fort Wayne’s riverfront consultants met with the public this evening to present initial concepts that call for a balance of Nature, Recreation and Development along the downtown riverfront.
SWA Group was hired in November 2013 to complete a riverfront study, which will be the first comprehensive look at enhancing the city’s rivers and will provide a road map for world class investment. This is the second in a series of public meetings about the future of the downtown riverfront; the next public meetings will be in October with final study results expected in January 2015.
“It’s important to remember that the ideas presented this evening are just preliminary,” said Pam Holocher, deputy director of community development. “SWA will take what they heard from the public at meetings this evening and tomorrow and further refine their concepts in order to design a riverfront unique to Fort Wayne.”
“We’re impressed with the level of public engagement in Fort Wayne,” said Kinder Baumgardner, principal with SWA Group. “After studying hundreds of public comments and listening to local residents, one theme stands out—the community wants a balance of Nature, Recreation and Development along the downtown riverfront.”
In order to provide that balance, SWA Group suggested focusing on three primary areas along the downtown riverfront.
Citizens wanting to stay connected to the Riverfront Fort Wayne initiative should visit www.RiverfrontFW.org and sign up for the electronic newsletter. They can also visit the Envision Fort Wayne Center, 916 S. Calhoun St. on Tuesdays 2-6 p.m. and Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
July 15, 2014 – The public is invited to respond to concepts for Fort Wayne’s downtown riverfront at one of two public input meetings. Both meetings will take place downtown at the main branch of the Allen County Public Library in the theater. The meetings are set for:
“Enhancing our downtown riverfront is critical to maintaining our city’s momentum,” said Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “As we enter the next phase of the Riverfront Fort Wayne study, citizen input is more critical than ever. I invite everyone to get involved and let us know what you’d like to see happen along our rivers.”
In November 2013, the City contracted with SWA Group to complete the Riverfront Study, which is the first comprehensive look at enhancing the use of our city’s rivers; it is intended to provide the road map to world class investment.
During the public input meetings, SWA will present specific concepts and ask citizens to respond. After the meetings, individuals may visit the Envision Fort Wayne Center, 916 S. Calhoun St., and examine SWA’s concepts and provide feedback as well. The Envision Center is open Tuesdays 2-6 p.m., Thursdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and Fridays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Additionally, citizens will be able to go online to www.RiverfrontFW.org and comment on the draft concepts.
After reviewing citizen input, SWA Group will refine the concepts and present more refined ideas for feedback in October. A final plan is expected to be unveiled in January 2015.
July 10, 2014. – Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry today thanked residents for responding enthusiastically to the City’s recent Riverfront Fort Wayne survey. The survey results can be found at http://www.riverfrontfw.org/images/RF_Uses_and_Activites_Survey_Results.pdf.
“Nearly 2,600 people took our survey about what they’d like to see along the downtown riverfront,” said Mayor Henry. “People are clearly excited about the momentum they see in our community and are looking forward to the continued growth and vibrancy that enhancing our riverfront will encourage.”
The Uses and Activities Survey was primarily filled out online with some hard copies completed at Riverpalooza and several locations throughout Fort Wayne. Respondents expressed support for a wide variety of uses along the riverfront, including sitting places, mixed use development, winter activities, and entrepreneur space. They indicated overwhelming support for recreational opportunities both on and alongside the river, as well as for natural habitat space. (Survey results are attached in a PDF document)
“Recreation and natural habitat stood out as having the most interest from respondents,” said Pam Holocher, deputy director of community development. “However, those taking the survey were also interested in a variety of other options along the riverfront – they were enthusiastic about all the ideas.”
The City has provided the consultant, SWA Group, with the results of the survey. The consultant is also reviewing the comments from the March public meetings, the ideas submitted online, and the opinions expressed at the Envision Fort Wayne Center, 916 S. Calhoun St. SWA Group is using the public comments to develop several broad concepts.
These concepts will be presented during two public meetings, both at the downtown Allen County Public Library theater. The meetings are set for Wednesday, July 23, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. and Thursday, July 24, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. After SWA presents several concepts, attendees will have a chance to provide feedback about the designs.
To stay up-to-date on Riverfront Fort Wayne activities, visit www.RiverfrontFW.org and sign up for the e-newsletter or follow @CityofFortWayne on Twitter and use the #RiverfrontFW.
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