PROJECTS FORUM STUDIO SELECTED FOR RIVERFRONT FORT WAYNE
“I’m encouraged by the progress we’re making with our collective efforts to develop the riverfront,” said Mayor Henry. “This next step in the process is important as we build on the excitement and momentum being generated by innovative projects in the City of Fort Wayne.”.
What an exciting time for the City of Fort Wayne! As cities across the U.S. are reinvesting in their waterfronts, this moment has been years in the making. Following a settlement, the City now has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to use ‘Legacy’ funds – to be spent on capital projects and other initiatives that might not otherwise be possible. As a result, the question “What can the City do with these proceeds that would be transformational for our region?” was presented to the surrounding county governments in 2013. The overwhelming response was to create a unique destination on the riverfront in downtown Fort Wayne. With that validation, the City proceeded to prepare a conceptual master plan for the riverfront area with a consultant team that was completed in the summer of 2015, along with extensive community engagement and public outreach that resulted in overwhelming project support.
As a part of the conceptual planning process, a Phase 1 area was identified as the focus of the initial riverfront development. This includes the area between the western edge of Headwaters Park and the north end of Calhoun Street to the Old Wells Street Bridge and from the old Cass Street Depot / Fort Wayne Outfitters across the river to Superior Street. The south side of the river is envisioned to be an urban waterfront plaza and promenade (or boardwalk) with a focus on shopping, dining and entertainment, complimented by vertically-mixed use private development that includes restaurants, retail, office, residential and hotel uses. On the north side of the river, a large deck structure and a linear riverfront park space is envisioned to provide better access to the river and the extensive River Greenway trail network as well as connect to the future Headwaters Junction project and the South Wells Street neighborhood.
In an effort to maintain the momentum and enthusiasm created by the community’s interest and support of the riverfront development, the City released an RFP for the detailed design of the Phase 1 area in the summer of 2015. After receiving more responses than anticipated, the list was shortened to 6 consultant teams for initial interviews with a core group of the Riverfront Implementation Committee (RIC) in late October, 2015. Next, the list was cut to 3 teams for final interviews in mid-November. After an exhaustive process, the committee has selected Riverworks Design Group, a consortium of professional consulting firms, to proceed with the design and implementation of the Phase 1 riverfront project. Riverworks Design Group consists of several local firms including Design Collaborative, Hoch Associates, Engineering Resources, Lynchpin Creative and One Lucky Guitar. In addition, Forum Studio will lead the landscape architecture and urban design components of the project as a part of Riverworks Design Group. The core team from Forum Studio is Chip Crawford, Todd Meyer, Katie Martin, Adam Bachtel, and Frank Hu.