February 8, 2017 - The Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners, Red Bird Properties and Cambray and Associates have reached agreements on the core settlement terms for property acquisitions and relocation expenses of the final three riverfront properties located in the area planned for Riverfront Development Phase 1.
The basis of final settlement amounts to be paid to the property owners included review and consideration of the rising values of downtown development projects. Red Bird Properties will be paid $1,300,000 and Cambray and Associates will be paid $850,000 in settlement of their respective damages from the condemnation proceedings.
The core settlement terms agreed upon are being incorporated into more detailed purchase agreements for the parties to finalize and sign. Once the purchase agreements are signed, a closing date for the transfer of the properties will be scheduled. To allow ample time for Red Bird and Cambray to transition their business operations to other locations, the Park Board will not take immediate possession of the property following the closing dates of the sales. The possession date agreed upon will, however, allow the Riverfront construction timeline to proceed on schedule. Once property closings have been completed, the condemnation lawsuits will be dismissed.
In other Riverfront Development news, Parks & Recreation Director Al Moll and Deputy Director of Riverfront Development Mark Becker will appear before the board of the Northeast Indiana Regional Development Authority on February 14 to request $5,276,000 in Regional Cities funding for Riverfront Development Phase 1.
“The settlements of these property acquisitions was vital as we approach next week’s request for Regional Cities funding,” said Director Moll. “It was important to keep the project moving forward for many reasons—for construction to stay on schedule, to be able to tell potential funders that we had possession of the properties, and to limit non-construction expenditures.”
“Riverfront development is critical to the current and future success of Fort Wayne and the region as a point of destination,” said Mayor Tom Henry. “We’re looking forward to the next steps in the process as we work together to make a meaningful and lasting difference to encourage job and business growth and provide quality of place amenities to attract and retain residents.”
The first phase of riverfront development will be focused on the public spaces in a park setting. Development would occur on the south and north sides of the St. Marys River between Harrison Street and the historic Wells Street Bridge. Highlights of the plans include a promenade, park pavilion, event lawn, entry plaza with sculpture/signage, urban bioswale, educational water feature, urban streetscape, central plaza, urban riverfront terraces, elevated boardwalk, dock, interactive sculpture, and children’s play area.
The team leading the design work is Riverworks Design Group, comprised of Design Collaborative, Forum Studio, Hoch Associates, Engineering Resources, American Structurepoint, and One Lucky Guitar. The Hagerman Group serves as Construction Manager.