Tuesday, June 12, 2007

North River Community Workshop

From the North River Community Workshop:

Started off with introductions from everyone.

Strong city presence among the crowd and some notables such as CSL International, MSKTD, and non-profits.

There were four questions asked of each table of people, with 8 tables in all with about 6-8 people at each table. I had the pleasure of sitting between City Councilman Tom Smith and Mr. Mark Garvin. The questions will be listed below and an overview of the responses from all the tables for each question will be listed underneath.

Question 1: In 10 years, what would you like to see at the site?

  • A destination, a place that stands out
  • Mixed-use retail, housing, offices, etc
  • Waterpark (indoor/outdoor)
  • Northern terminal to a street car system at the site
  • University/school/educational usage at site (possibly use YWCA buildings)
  • Boat launch area into river
  • Youth sports complex
  • Aquarium

Question 2: What traits/characteristics/architectural details/etc would you want to see?

  • Whatever is done, go all out with all the bells and whistles
  • Make use of the water as a long-lasting human interest point
  • High private to public investment
  • Underground parking
  • Architecture that fits in with area and downtown in general - no box stores or out of place buildings
  • Implement some topography changes such as hills, etc, so that it's not all flat terrain
  • Connection of 6th Street east towards Spy Run
  • Height restrictions placed on buildings
  • New Urbanism design style
  • Have the entire development planned, not just one big thing and then waiting for other development to happen

Question 3: What should the relationship be between the site and nearby areas, including the river and nearby attractions?

  • Should be a regional attraction, not just local
  • Have pedestrian and bike paths throughout and connecting to nearby areas
  • Use trolleys or light trail for transportation to and from site
  • Wells St needs to be considered, land between Wells St and Clinton is potential for new development, not just North River site
  • Consideration of how private money will affect western edge of site

Question 4: What potential negatives do you foresee and what are your concerns?

  • Financing
  • Traffic
  • Parking spillover into neighborhoods
  • Eminent domain concerns
  • Risk of doing nothing
  • State of Indiana involvement needed
  • Environmental concerns, cleanup issues
  • Linkages east over Clinton
  • Runoff problems
  • Displacement of affordable housing
  • Year-round usage
  • Timing may force a decision to be made, consider extending option

Councilman Smith also brought up the idea of moving Lawton Park to the northwest corner of the North River site in order to have more development along the river. Mr. Smith also brought up the I&M property north of the site as another potential site for redevelopment in the future.

There will be two other input sessions similar to the one held today:

  • June 14, 6-8 PM - Taylor University, Eicher Student Commons, 1025 W. Rudisill Blvd
  • June 19, 6-8 PM - IPFW Walb Student Union Ballroom, 2101 E Coliseum Blvd


Jeff Pruitt said...

Please tell me that the consensus isn't to exapand the TIF yet again...

scott said...

I don't believe the discussion is at a financing stage at this point.

Rachel said...

Scott (and Brian?),

Thanks for covering this. I love how you cover events for a blog with little to no spin. I'm looking forward to attending next Tuesday's event at IPFW.


Charlotte A. Weybright said...

Okay - I realize I keep harping on this issue, but were any flooding and floodplain concerns raised? According to FEMA maps, the area lies in a floodplain, and state regs as well as city regs prohibit construction in those areas.

I didn't see any mention in the four questions asked or their answers.

Everything that we do as improvement involving the rivers will impact some area somewhere. No one seems to want to address that issue.

Dave MacDonald said...


I think flooding concerns can be averted by building a Nightlife and Shopping Boardwalk atop the existing flood levy (may be less expensive than floodproofing the whole area).

I'm still working on these areas of my proposal but you can get the general idea here:



scott said...

Thanks for sharing Dave!

Here's the link to the site Dave posted for those that are too lazy to cut and paste:


Dave MacDonald said...


Did you notice that I incorporated your GREAT idea about underground parking? Parking garages can be pretty boring.


Joe said...

Nice work Dave. I am really liking the idea of a shopping boardwalk/bar scene along the river. I was recently in South Bend and they have a really nice riverwalk downtown. I was thinking it would be cool for Ft. Wayne to implement something like this.

Dave MacDonald said...

Thanks Joe.

I'm anxious to add my ideas about the Nightlife Boardwalk. This area is conveniently located near Three Rivers Apartments as well as Club Soda and Hall's Guesthouse. It would be nice to have a downtown area that doesn't close down at six o'clock. Midnight or later would be much better.

The romantic in me sees a guy taking his girl out for a fine dinner at an upscale restaurant, dessert at DeBrand's, followed by an evening ride on the Headwaters Skyride where he proposes to her.

My wife would disagree with the idea of me being a romantic, though.