On Wednesday, the City of Fort Wayne announced new efforts to develop the south end of town.
Mayor Tom Henry announced that the city will try to attract more retail to the south side of Fort Wayne. The City announced a contract with the Michigan-based Indigo Centers in an effort to recruit as many as 120 new retail businesses to the area.
Mayor Henry says he’s confident the contract with Indigo Centers can help expand the city’s south side.
“We know we have the critical mass. We know we have disposable income," said Henry. "It’s just a matter of letting the retailers and those in the hospitality business know that.”
Indigo Centers President Jeffrey Higgins says his organization provides the City extra help most cities need when recruiting retailers.
“A lot of times I see cities across the country that will try to recruit retail by trying to do it themselves," said Higgins. "The problem is ultimately it becomes someone’s job inside the city and they’ve got a job already. Ultimately it doesn’t necessarily happen.”
The City’s contract with Indigo Centers extends into May at a rate of $5,000 per month, with the possibility of extending the contract later into 2016.
Higgins says his firm will represent Fort Wayne at two large retail conventions in New York and Las Vegas to attract potential business.