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Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 2:36 pm
by nathansixchime
Well, we were the only group to step forward with a joint proposal for North River with Continental Property Group when the City opened up the RFPs.
Before that, we were looking to partner with Junior Achievement, but those plans never became public. No blinders here!

And agree on Nebraska. A lot of potential there and based on our meeting with the Mayor and City Staff two weeks ago, they see it too! Only slightly amusing that the original "fallback" or bridesmaid location in 2013 is now the principle site in question...

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 7:49 pm
by Bob Durnell
Kelly, do you have any renderings of what a West Wayne Project would look like? I'm just not seeing this as great alternative. While it would solve a lot of problems, it just seems too out of the way to me. It seems almost like a repeat of Casad. You're only going to find it if you are looking for it. I was so much hoping for a location that could not be ignored, IE, thousands of cars going by it every day.

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:17 pm
by nathansixchime
Yep, it’s the last rendering here, made in 2013:
https://headwatersjunction.com/tour/

We have a newer one that shows the project’s relationship to neighborhood development but that probably won’t be made public until later this year.
3237D810-D508-4420-83A5-8B752527AB2F.jpeg
The only reason West Wayne is obscure is because there’s nothing to speak of there now. Some signage at Sherman and West Main (where there are used car lots), the railroad connecting to riverfront, and Phase 3 of riverfront reaching Sherman on the East and West Main Street development at the West will help dissolve the obscurity of this location.

It’s always one I’ve been fond of because it can be it’s own thing there, and of course historically it was the real deal. We don’t even own any track or have a yard at Casad and an industrial park next to the state line is a much different animal than being a major attraction in a neighborhood across the river from downtown. One could argue the Zoo’s location is the opposite of prominent, too. Nothing would beat Clinton Street, but the positioning necessary to locate there has played out and we’ll never compete against a corporate HQ, a hospital, an arena, etc. That’s just the sober truth.

It’ll all make an interesting book some day...

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Mon Mar 09, 2020 9:58 pm
by Bob Durnell
I guess one of my concerns would be whether HJ can survive economically until the rest of the development catches up to it, and how much being out of short walking distance from the heart of the activity will hurt. You mentioned the Zoo, and I'll bet the City wishes it WAS downtown, NOW. Remember we tore down a perfectly good baseball stadium to move closer to the action, and now they want to build an arena that will effectively turn the Coliseum into little more than a trade show and exhibition center, just to be closer to downtown. I really have to fault the city leaders for lack of vision on this project. Given the chance to do something truly unique and attention worthy, they are hellbent on on a strategy that wastes valuable high visibility property with projects that don't warrant it or need it. Headwater's Junction has the ability to grab attention and draw in people in a way that very few projects can, and would have been a fantastic magnet to draw attention to North River. I don't understand why some people seem to see this as an either-or, when in reality, it could be BOTH.

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:52 pm
by rrnut282
Never forget tax revenue when talking to politicians. What would bring in more of other peoples' money they can pocket, I mean, spend, a shiny HQ Building or a park-like rail museum site?

I know NS would not be interested in sharing the R/W, but I can envision the trolley line circulating to a spot downtown to add visibility. Science Central would be a second choice destination.

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:18 pm
by Bob Durnell
Well as I have said, I don't see what this has to be an either-or situation. There is no reason the city and everyone else can't get what they want. It's just the reality that nearly all of those other projects aren't as location specific as Headwater's Junction is. Nobody really cares where a hospital or an arena or an office building goes, if people want or need what those venues have to offer, they will go to them. Headwater's Junction is more demanding because of the necessity of a rail connection and the fact that tourist attractions, especially non-traditional ones really call out for more visible locations. I'm not a big fan of the city acquiring North River in the first place, especially under the terms and obligations involved, but that fact is that they DID acquire it, and I for one don't think it should all be wasted on "more of the same". To me, Headwater's Junction is a VASTLY better fit for what the "stated" objectives of riverfront development were than most of the other options being put out there. Of course then there is the fact that nobody else seems to be knocking down the door to make a proposal. What's a bigger a drain on the city, developing only a part of the land for now and getting some immediate return, or having it sit empty with no return at all?

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:07 am
by Hotbox
rrnut282 wrote:
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:52 pm
I can envision the trolley line circulating to a spot downtown to add visibility.
And don't forget Pedal City, they've been catching on quite well down there on west Main street. I'm sure that you could arrange a stop and circuit over at West Wayne and get some true synergy going.

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:28 am
by nathansixchime
Yep, we've briefly touched on a circulating streetcar route. Was also part of the original Headwaters State Park plan from the 80s. There's merit and plenty of great precedents (Kenosha, Tampa, etc...) and the City understands that much of the "cost" of something like that is greatly helped by there already being an operator with equipment waiting in the wings. Time will tell how expansive the scope gets, but I envision a future where it's stupid-easy to get around, without getting in your car, especially as urban infill development continues.

Re: Can anybody explain the city of Fort Wayne's lack of interest in Headwater's Junction?

Posted: Tue Mar 17, 2020 11:18 am
by Hotbox
I can see where a lot of good might eventually come of this. Even the most optimistic projections I've seen for the riverfront development project seems to set it's boundry at Van Buren street, with only a wistful mention that "someday" it could extend to Swinney Park.
The West Wayne location for HWJ could be just the catalyst to fill in the gap between the two (contemplating the foot bridge on Mechanic street).utilizing the proximity to Osage street. I'm sure the owner of Redwood Inn would like to make that a reality as well.

And once Swinney Park is in the bag, it's just a hop skip and a jump to Electric Works. This could really end up better than anyone could have planned