Monday, January 28, 2008

Walking To Opportunity

Proposed span is more than a walkway
Proposed link spurs improvements to Embassy Theatre, Indiana Hotel
Link (JG)

By Kelly Updike

"There is a message of opportunity for the Embassy – and our downtown – that is contained within the walkway agreement between the Embassy Theatre and the city of Fort Wayne.

While the walkway is a major requirement of the hotel developer, it also is a catalyst for growth at the Embassy.

The walkway is now just one piece of the construction that will take place in the Embassy in the next few years."


"Embassy improvements are separate from the walkway costs and of greater significance in that they are an important investment in an existing community asset. The project provides opportunity for development of the five floors in the Indiana Hotel that have remained closed for more than 30 years.

The city is funding the walkway project at $1.3 million, while the Goldstine Foundation approved a grant to the Embassy for $550,000 to pay for the new interior access points. The Embassy’s volunteer board of directors worked with city representatives and with historic preservation experts to craft an agreement that will ensure the Embassy’s present historic condition will remain secure. The walkway itself is set back from the corner of Harrison and Jefferson boulevards and will not detract from the beauty of the building. In addition, the walkway will not disturb the historic and decorative terra cotta, a key exterior feature and important to the Embassy’s placement on the National Register of Historic Places."


"We are essentially building bridges on our community’s strengths by enhancing one of this city’s historic landmarks and giving it new life. Thanks to this project, the Embassy Theatre will be made development-ready and integrated more directly into the downtown area.

There is much to do in the next few years at the Embassy. It is our intention to communicate with and involve the community as much as possible in the dreaming, planning and building of the walkway and development of the upper floors. The Embassy will continue to shine brightly in downtown Fort Wayne as an active and vibrant gem."


Shahana said...

sounds great

J Q Taxpayer said...

That was my very point when the walk way was fist discussed. That is was more for the Embassy then the hotel. It was not a major, or even proven demand by the hotel group.

I have no problem with the project considering they raised nearly 1/3 of the money themselves.

I would have supported the walkway from day one had they just came out and stated that it was mostly to enhance the Embassy. I would have gotten on their bandwagon with support.

I opposed it because it was a con game as to the real need. It was not that it was bad but trying to BS the public was wrong. The end results does not justify the means.

I am a big supporter of the Embassy but I hope in future efforts they do it in the open and honest way. That they don't use the coat tails of some other project to get something done.

The Embassy is too well liked in the community for such to happen.