Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Pick And Choose

Is ‘Big Thing’ overwhelming?
Harrison Square project not likely to help smaller businesses

"“We already have two (downtown) hotels, and they’re way underused. And most of our customers aren’t going to go to the ballpark,” said Rick Brandt, who with his wife, Cora, owns the Carole Lombard House at 704 Rockhill St."

"It is not the city’s job, certainly, to assure the Brandts’ profitability. Nor does the obvious fact that Harrison Square won’t solve all of downtown’s problems mean it can’t solve at least some of them."


scott said...

"With a price tag of between $125 million and $160 million, the Harrison Square project has been touted as a savior of downtown Fort Wayne."

I don't even think city officials are under the impression that the project is a "savior". That's why, since December 21, 2006, it's been touted as a catalyst project - meaning that other developments are expected to occur because of the project and not that the project itself is an end-all solution.

The job of being a catalyst is already proving true with renewed interest in downtown and simply bringing the core to people's attention.

scott said...

By the way, I had never even heard of the B&B in question until reading about it in the article.

Being able to market oneself effectively goes a lot farther than simply being in the shadow of a large development project.

Anonymous said...

Scott - Maybe it's your "one-track - downtown baseball" viewing that caused you to miss The Carole Lombard House. Info on this and a second one on Washington Blvd.( The Lasalle B & B) are known to visitors to the geneology section of our downtown public library - the second biggest attaction to visitors to Fort Wayne - but then, you younger folks have no interest in anything over 11 years old, so I guess it's understandable. John B. Kalb

Anonymous said...


You are so correct. My god is that geneology section exciting. Wow the hustle and bustle. I am surprised more young people dont spend their weekends at the G-spot as I like to call it.

If more people would appreciate the excitement of sorting through microfiche, there never would have been a discussion about Harrions Square.

Anonymous said...

Ok Anon, let's not denigrate the genealogists too much. It's not my cup of tea either, but it is a big deal for thousands and thousands of folks who do come here soley because of our library's genealogy department, and they pump a lot of money into the local economy doing so.

And believe it or not, there really is hustle and bustle at the library. I know in the month of March there were over 200,000 visitors to the new Main. That is a lot of people and we should be glad and proud that our library is such a success, but it was never intended to be the Whole answer to downtown's woes.

The library could have 10 times that number of visitors and there would still need to be a discussion of Harrison Sq. They are two very different pieces of the puzzle.

I have to agree with Scott and say that I believe the B&B owners do need to market themselves better to those genealogists and not expect baseball fans to be their savior.

BTW, this Saturday the library is starting a series of rock concerts on the plaza that are geared for the 20-40 (give or take) set. Every other Saturday all summer, and their free! Everybody wins.