Fort Wayne’s riverfront development officially began Thursday with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the future site of Promenade Park.
Mayor Tom Henry hopes the project will attract more people to the area for years to come.
“What’s going to happen in the next few months is something that is going to stand the test of time,” Henry said. “We have worked very hard over the past decade or so to make Fort Wayne a point of destination, and if this doesn’t do it, I don’t know what does.”
The project was funded in part by Regional Cities Initiative funding, which is used for projects aimed at growing Northeast Indiana’s population.
Promenade Park will include trails, overlooks, and boat launches to take advantage of the city’s rivers. It will also include an interactive playground, funded by the PNC Foundation. The playground will encourage motor development and social interaction for all children, according to PNC’s Regional President, Corinna Ladd.
Ladd says the playground is designed to accommodate people with physical disabilities.
“The playground is going to offer some really great opportunities for parents and caregivers to take their children down to the park,” she said.
Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation says the first phase of the project will cost about $17 million and is funded through a mix of private donations and public funds. It will be completed by the spring of 2019.