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Fort Wayne Legacy Fund committee approves Riverfront funding requests

(Photo supplied/Greater Fort Wayne Inc.)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The Fort Wayne Legacy Joint Funding Committee gave initial approval to a request for a $2.5-million loan for the downtown area’s Landing project Wednesday night.

Steve Smith of The Model Group, the developer of the project, told the Committee what the money would be used for:

“This is not for real estate development like you would typically see,” Smith said. “This is about economic development. What we’re trying to do is create something transformative and catalytic.”

The Committee doesn’t usually issue loans, just send the City Council their recommendations for approval or denial of proposals, which is what they did in this case. Councilman Paul Ensley was the sole “no” vote.

Smith says he hopes the project, which will include restaurants, retail, and residential offerings for the westernmost block of Columbia Street, will begin construction next June.

The Committee also heard from Al Moll and Mark Becker of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to request $10-million for the city’s Riverfront Development project.

Al Moll and Mark Becker of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department told the Committee the money would be combined with a high level of private donations to cover the $20-million total price tag.

“The private side has gone remarkably well,” Moll said.

The Committee approved the request unanimously. It now moves to the City Council.

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