City leaders hopeful ‘North River Project’ will move forward soon

Fort Wayne city leaders are anticipating progress in 2022 towards an economic development...
Fort Wayne city leaders are anticipating progress in 2022 towards an economic development agreement for the North River property.(WPTA)
Published: Oct. 27, 2021 at 10:12 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The vision to bring a soccer stadium, a hotel and new housing to a long-dormant piece of land near downtown Fort Wayne is very much alive, officials tell ABC21.

BACKGROUND: $150M development proposed for former OmniSource site

And they hope to see progress soon. Jonathan Leist, the Deputy Director of Fort Wayne Redevelopment, told ABC21 on Tuesday that progress is being made, and he expects a “phased-in” approach to follow.

“(We’re) trying to get to our first economic development agreement on one of the projects,” he said. “So… trying to narrow down which one of those is most feasible and most ready to go.”

City Councilman Geoff Paddock is also optimistic. Paddock represents District 5, which encompasses downtown Fort Wayne.

“Not only is there the possibility, I think, for something attractive here, but something that will beautify this area,” he said. “Add value to the city. And, I think, enhance the value of homes in the neighborhood here.”

No concrete dates, however, have been offered.

Last February, Mayor Tom Henry disclosed that a memorandum of understanding had been signed to build a stadium for the fledgling Fort Wayne FC -- a USL soccer club currently playing in League Two.

Meanwhile, construction continues on the Riverfront at Promenade Park project nearby.

That plan calls for more than 200 apartment units, retail stores and a 900-space parking garage.

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