Mayor Tom Henry, second from right, flings dirt as part of the groundbreaking ceremony for the Riverfront at Promenade Park mixed-use development.

Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry joined by the Director of Community Development Nancy Townsend, developer Barrett & Stokely and other city leaders held a groundbreaking ceremony Feb. 18 for the Riverfront at Promenade Park. The $88.7 million development will go up on the northeast corner of Superior and Harrison streets.

“This project kept advancing every step of the way,” Townsend said, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. She credited that perseverance to Barrett & Stokely’s commitment and the strength and support of the community.

Rex Barrett, principal of Barrett & Stokely, said COVID was a big hurdle simply because it was hard to get all the people involved together for meetings. Like many others, eventually they turned to Zoom calls for meetings.

Barrett said the parking garage could be ready in about 12 months, and in another 11 months the first units will be ready for occupants.

The other big Barrett & Stokely development, the Lofts at Headwaters Park, will be delayed a bit because of the COVID-caused delays to the Promenade project. Barrett said some environmental remediation still needs to be done at the Headwaters location.

Barrett said of the firm’s decision to invest in Fort Wayne, “The more we looked, the more we liked what we saw. The downtown dynamic is unbelievable.”

They believed so much in Fort Wayne the firm didn’t waver even during the uncertainty of COVID.

The city has worked closely with Indianapolis-based Barrett & Stokely on this private investment since 2019. The six-story, mixed-use building will include more than 200 apartments, seven town homes, and a 900-space parking garage. There will be approximately 30,000 square feet of office space and nearly 15,000 square feet of retail space.

“It has been great working with the Barrett and Stokely team to put this project together,” Townsend said in a news release. “Their philosophy about building, owning and managing their developments long-term makes them a good fit for our community.”

“We are excited about how The Riverfront at Promenade Park will help move riverfront development forward,” Barrett said in the news release.

“The Riverfront at Promenade Park sends a strong message that the private sector believes in Fort Wayne and our community’s vision for riverfront development,” Henry said. “I continue to be encouraged by the progress and momentum we’re experiencing. It truly is our time.”

Townsend echoed that sentiment. “Riverfront is real. It’s alive. It’s happening,” she said.

“This project would not be possible without the partnership between the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission, Fort Wayne City Council, the Allen County Commissioners and the Capital Improvement Board,” Townsend said. “The Downtown Trust also helped facilitate the property transfer.”

The garage is expected to be completed in early 2022 and the apartments and commercial space in early 2023

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