Mayor Graham Richard tonight announced significant progress is being made in southeast Fort Wayne in private investments, housing, infrastructure, and public safety. Mayor Richard presented a progress report on southeast development as part of his Report to the People speech to the Southeast Area Partnership.

Southeast Development Strategy
A new strategy to guide future growth for housing, commercial redevelopment and new and infill development will be presented to the public by the end of the first quarter. In the spring, residents will have the opportunity to review the document and provide feedback at public meeting sessions before the strategy is presented to governing bodies for approval. Last August, nearly 200 people participated in community forums to help prioritize development goals and programs for the next 10 years.

Public Safety Academy
The first-of-its-kind facility will open in late fall. The $27 million academy will provide police, fire, emergency medical services, and homeland security training and education for professionals and students from Northeast Indiana and across the Midwest. An on-site walkthrough for first responders, area educators and government officials is planned for this summer. An academic and professional training coordinator has been hired to develop training programming for professionals and students. Local education partners, Ivy Tech, IPFW, Indiana Tech, Taylor University, the University of St. Francis, Tri-State University, and Fort Wayne Community Schools (Anthis Career Center), have committed to leasing space at the academy and will soon sign lease agreements.

Infrastructure - $48 million since 2000 Since 2000, $26 million has been invested in water, sewer and stormwater projects. One of the major projects was the Camp Scott initiative to reduce basement backups and combined sewer overflows. The Pontiac Street/Wayne Trace roundabout highlighted the $22 million that has been invested in public works projects.

Southeast Retail Incentive PRISE (Prime Retail Incentives in Southeast) Program
Several companies recently were approved to receive funding assistance for façade improvements. The companies are Bodner, LCC (Kmart South), Lambros Restaurant, Hires Parts Services, Inc., The Hair House, Tyson Food Market, and Pontiac Mall. All improvements are scheduled to be completed this spring. Last fall, Kmart was the first recipient of a façade grant. The goal of the program is to enhance visual aesthetics of existing commercial businesses, improve marketability and attract new retail to the southeast area.

Southtown Centre A new, nearly 8,000 square feet multi-tenant retail building is under construction. Construction on the Wendy'€™s restaurant is underway. A new Menards, Wal-Mart and Firestone are open.

Renaissance Pointe
Plans call for nearly 400 new homes, the rehabilitation of more than 100 existing homes, a greenway trail, and improved infrastructure. The area is bounded by Creighton Avenue, Pontiac and Hanna streets and South Anthony Boulevard. Construction will begin on model units this summer with completion in the fall. A new greenway trail, alley reconstruction and new streetlights will be completed by the end of the year. In addition, a Smart/Green home will be part of the development. Smart/Green homes use technology to enhance home efficiency and improve the environment.

Business Development
In 2006, Rea Magnet Wire invested over $200,000 at its facility on Pontiac Street. United Surgical Associates'€™ distribution center is nearing completion on Pennsylvania Street. The company has invested more than $600,000 toward its orthopedic business. Later this year, infrastructure improvements will be made in the Adams Center landfill area and the former Phil'€™s Market at Pontiac Street and South Anthony Boulevard. 

“Tremendous progress is being made in southeast Fort Wayne,” said Mayor Richard. “Providing excellent retail and housing options will lead to increased economic development opportunities, more jobs and new businesses. We also appreciate existing businesses that remain committed to superb customer service.”