Wednesday, April 2, 2008


Downtown Fort Wayne Baseball is now What's Going Down(town)

(based on the What's Going Down(town) series of posts)

Check it out
Change your bookmarks and links
Come back often

DFWB will remain as a historical resource, but will no longer be updated

See you there!

MLK Bridge Makeover Set For 2010

Clinton Street bridge to close for a year
Link (JG)

"Clinton Street commuters have some time to prepare, but they had better start thinking now about what they'll do during a yearlong bridge closure set to begin in 2010.

The Fort Wayne Board of Public Works on Wednesday approved a revised coordination contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Bridge on Clinton Street over the St. Marys River."


"The new construction contract cuts the project's budget from $8.1 million to $7.8 million. The city's share dropped $11,000, to $1.9 million.

Although the city is moving forward with the project, Ross said officials still have not identified the source of the city's share of construction funds. The cuts shouldn't reduce the scope of the project, other than elimination of the temporary bridge, he said."


"Other than being an aesthetic entrance to downtown Fort Wayne, the project is expected to reduce maintenance costs for the state and fit in with the state�s plan to improve Clinton north of the bridge in the future.

The current bridge was built in 1967 and rehabilitated in 1985. Its sufficiency rating is 64.6 out of 100."

Interest High For On Schedule Square

Stadium is on schedule for completion
Outfield wall is taking shape; clubhouse frame has been erected
Link (NS)

"Fort Wayne Wizards General Manager Mike Nutter said on Tuesday the downtown Fort Wayne Harrison Square project that will feature a state-of-the-art city-owned ballpark is right on schedule to completed and ready for use by the start of the 2009 season.

Currently, the area where the stadium is to be built has been gutted about 15 feet below street level because the ballpark will rest in a bowl-like shape. The outfield wall has begun to take shape. The frame of the clubhouse has been poured and erected near the right-field baseline.

Once the concrete base for the stadium is completed, steel work can begin. Concrete work is expected to be completed sometime this month."


"Nutter said the Wizards front office has already sold more season tickets for the 2009 season than any of the nine years he's been general manager. Including the 16 sold out luxury suites, Nutter said 1,250 season tickets have been sold. That doesn't include any mini or weekend packages, which haven't yet gone on sale.

The parking garage is expected to be finished in July. Lincoln Financial employees will park there and the company's old lots will be torn up so the land can be used for the project. The luxury suite construction is to be started in August. The condominium/retail building construction is slated to mirror the work of the stadium and is to open by June 1, 2009."

More On Aptera Downtown Move

Software firm plans to move downtown
Aptera agrees to buy building near Harrison Square, will add 15 jobs
Link (NS)

"With completion at least a year away, it's too early to know whether Harrison Square will unleash the hoped-for flood of economic activity downtown. But even the promise of a revival was enough to lure a growing computer firm in from the suburbs."


"The new headquarters - which one day will be just blocks from the $125 million-$160 million Harrison Square project - should also help Aptera attract and keep customers and so-called “creative class” employees often drawn to larger cities. Aptera's average employee is about 29 years old.

“This (project) will bring a whole different dynamic downtown. When clients walk in, they need to say, ‘This is a company I want to work with.' And when would-be employees walk in, I want them to say, ‘Wow!'” Herman said. “I've never been to a Wizards (baseball) game, but if it weren't for Harrison Square, we wouldn't be as interested in downtown. In five years, it should be the place to be.”"


"Developer Bill Bean, who is selling the building to Aptera, said the high-tech firm will be a perfect fit.

“A number of people (including law offices) looked at the building, but we really weren't interested in subdividing it. Aptera was a little more interesting to us because the company fits in more with the type of jobs the city is trying to attract downtown,” said Bean."


"As Bean sees it, downtown real estate is fast becoming a hot commodity. “There's absolutely no doubt about it,” said Bean, who bought the First Source Center at 200 E. Main St. four years ago."
Local Software Firm Moving Downtown

Monday, March 31, 2008

Local Software Firm Moving Downtown

Aptera Software moving downtown, adding 15 jobs
Link (The Scoop)

"Aptera Software, a Fort Wayne-based provider of software development, web design and web-based applications, has announced the purchase of an office building and is expanding its operations to downtown Fort Wayne.

The company will relocate from Airport North Office Park to the building at 201 West Main Street at the southwest corner of West Main and South Harrison streets. Aptera plans to add 15 employees to its 23-person workforce in its new facility through 2009. The company will invest approximately $900,000 in the building, improvements and new equipment.

“We are very pleased for the opportunity to join the thriving community of downtown Fort Wayne businesses and continue our growth there,” said T.K. Herman, president of Aptera Software. “My partner and I both grew up in Fort Wayne and are very happy to see the progress being made to revitalize the downtown area. We have been able to attract employees from as far away as Idaho and feel our new office will enable us to continue hiring top-notch software developers and web designers.”"


"“Aptera Software is yet another great example of a significant base employer beginning from an innovative idea and thriving in Fort Wayne,” stated Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry. “T.K. and Conrad are to be congratulated for developing an outstanding business plan that has allowed them to become an important part of the exciting growth happening downtown. From the NIIC to downtown in five years is a testament to a good business plan coupled with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.”"


"At a future meeting, Fort Wayne Common Council will consider tax abatement on eligible real property improvements and personal property investment."

True North Makes Decision To Stay Downtown

True North moves to Berry St
Strategic advisers help businesses, whether buying or selling
Link (NS)

"The company, True North Strategic Advisors, plans to move into its new offices today at 347 W. Berry St., across from the Mizpah Shrine. True North, which is relocating from 810 S. Calhoun St., now has double the square footage it had before, said Chris Goeglein, who is also a principal owner."


"Staying downtown, and close to its referral network of banks, accountants and other financial institutions, was important, said Goeglein, a 46-year-old Fort Wayne native and Concordia High School graduate who returned home after four years in Philadelphia with Lincoln."

Wiz Kids Open 2008 Season Thursday

The Fort Wayne Wizards will open up Memorial Stadium for its last season this Thursday, April 3 against the Lansing Lugnuts at 6PM.

The home opener also happens to be a Thirsty Thursday:

"With the popularity of Dollar Nights every Monday, the Wizards have added another affordable option for families and large groups.

During every Thursday night home game, 20 oz. Fountain Drinks as well as 16 oz. Beers are only $2.00."

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Obama Columbia Street HQ Opens

click image above for more pictures
Obama Camp Moves Onto Columbia Street

All Along The Clocktower

click either image above for more pictures

Friday, March 28, 2008

Baseball And Beer: The Combo Gets Better

Baseball and microbrews: a 'loony' combination
Link (

"For sports fans, summertime ball games are usually accompanied by a $7 paper cup of macro-brew in hand that soon goes warm and flat.

But Midland, Michigan-based baseball team the Great Lakes Loons is kicking the quality up a notch by partnering with a Bay City microbrewery, Tri-City Brewing Company, for the second year in a row, to offer a custom microbrewed beer at the ball park. This year's brew is called Loon's Summer Ale and, according to Tri-City, is a lighter, clearer take on the citrusy flavors of a summer wheat beer, without the wheat. Loon's Summer Ale will be available at the ballpark throughout the Loons' 2008 season. If you're in the area, Tri-City and the ball team are also co-hosting a release party on March 27 to unveil the new brew."

No Longer Blocking GE, Downtown Cell Tower Approved

Taller telecom tower gets nod
Link (JG)

"A 150-foot tower soon will strengthen cellular phone signals in downtown Fort Wayne.

The Fort Wayne Board of Zoning Appeals on Thursday approved JB Towers LLC’s tower at 1701 Fairfield Ave. despite three neighbors’ objections to the project.

Centennial Wireless pursued an antenna on this tower after West Central residents complained another proposed tower south of Martin and Hendricks streets, near Broadway, would mar the skyline."


"The tower will provide capacity for carriers seeking to serve the Harrison Square downtown redevelopment project, said David Carter, the vice president of engineering for Centennial. Centennial has a tower on the Anthony Wayne Building downtown, but he said it needs another tower to adequately serve West Central and other downtown neighborhoods. Other carriers also seek capacity there."
From Broadway To Fairfield

Obama Camp Moves Onto Columbia Street

picture from Fort Wayne Observed

The Barack Obama Presidential campaign has opened a local Fort Wayne campaign headquarters on one of Fort Wayne's oldest developed stretches of road, Columbia Street.

The campaign office is located at 124 West Columbia Street and will be open to the public on Saturday, March 29th at 10 AM.

The property record card lists the building as being built in 1860 and as of February 7, 2008 it is owned by Patmar Development Company Inc.

It also lists the address as 122 West Columbia Street, not 124.

Obama Fort Wayne headquarters now open (FWOb)

Obama Opens Up Shop In Fort Wayne (FWP)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Boondoggle Road?

Maplecrest extension cost swells to $55M
County Council plans economic impact study to find if it's worthwhile
Link (NS)

"About $2.5 million has already been spent on plans, land and other preparation — without one drop of concrete being poured.

Now soaring cost estimates and doubts about its usefulness are causing some officials to question whether the most expensive 1.5 miles of road in Allen County history should be built at all."


"Congress awarded about $9 million to the project in 2005, but construction estimates that have increased from $21.2 million in 1996 to nearly $55 million have caused several council members to question whether the project’s benefits would justify its expense — which they fear could affect the construction and maintenance of other roads and bridges."


"In addition to the money already pledged by Congress, commissioners propose using vehicle taxes, the county’s major bridge fund and funds generated by a tax incremental financing district (TIF) — which would divert taxes from new development in the area — to pay for the project. But a TIF generates money only if development actually happens, and even then the available dollars would be millions short of the needed amount. That’s why the county said it may hire a lobbyist — at about $5,000 per month — to seek another $8 million or so from Congress."
$55 million of public money to build a 1.5 mile road on the fringe of the city


$65 million of public money leveraged to $125 million to build a ballpark, hotel, condos, retail, and a parking garage downtown

"“This is a roll of the dice, based on questionable data,” Moss said. “The public’s appetite for projects like this (after Harrison Square) is fairly low.”"
I would hope that most people would have a low appetite for 1.5 mile roads that cost $55 million.

Would the public's appetite have been whetted in the absence of Harrison Square?

It's still $55 million for a hop across the Maumee.

More On Barr Redesign

A better Barr Street
Link (JG)

"While site work at Harrison Square will soon give way to bricks-and-mortar construction, city officials are beginning a project that will help make a piece of the other side of downtown more attractive.

Over the next three months, the city will fulfill a plan to make Barr Street more attractive with new trees, sidewalks, streetlights and curbs.

The streetscape project is part of downtown improvement plans and will enhance the Cultural District on the east side of downtown."


"No improvements in the Barr Street Market area are included, but the sidewalks leading to the market will be wider, and new curbs will help make the area more pedestrian friendly.

Barr Street connects, among other downtown destinations, the market, the History Center, Park Place restaurant, the Arts United Center and the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. Arts United plans to study the building needs of its member organizations, and the streetscape could well complement any improvements or additions.

The project is the latest move to help make downtown more appealing, and it comes at little cost to local taxpayers."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Site Sights

click image above to view more pictures