Fort Wayne moves forward on new soccer-centric development

A $150-million development at the North River area of Fort Wayne, featuring a new stadium for a US League One team, is in the initial stages of planning, according to Mayor Tom Henry.

Henry shared the news about a new Fort Wayne stadium as part of his annual State of the City address yesterday. The proposed redevelopment near the Martin Luther King, Jr. bridge north of downtown would feature your standard mixed-use components: residential, retail, hotel, parking, office and restaurant spaces, along with a new soccer stadium and fieldhouse.

This is far from a done deal; the name of the developer has not been released, and there’s no financial plan or zoning outline yet for the city to consider. From the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette:

It’s likely any project would take several years to come to fruition, he added while speaking to reporters after his address.

“It’s a memorandum of understanding, it’s not a development agreement yet,” Henry said. “So it’s still in the embryonic stages of development, but they did bring that forward and we’re very excited about the possibilities.”

It’s not clear whether there will be a public-private partnership between the developer and the city, but Henry said it’s possible the city could be asked for assistance with the project’s parking component.

Still, the early stages of development planning coincides with Fort Wayne FC’s long-term plan of joining USL League One by 2023. The current game plan calls for Fort Wayne FC to play in the Great Lakes Division of USL League Two for 2021 and 2022 seasons at Bishop Dwenger’s Shields Field before advancing to USL League One in 2023.

RELATED STORIES: Fort Wayne FC eyes USL League One membership by 2023; Fort Wayne Floated as USL Division III Market

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August Publications