- Associated Press - Monday, July 4, 2016

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) - A riverfront development planned for Fort Wayne will cost more than originally thought but have more amenities, including a pavilion, promenade and elevated boardwalk, city leaders said.

Plans for the $20 million development along the St. Marys River were unveiled Wednesday. Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry said the goal is to have all needed property acquired and demolition underway by next summer. The aim is to have the project finished by late summer 2018.

“Our time is now to make Fort Wayne’s riverfront a world-class development,” Henry said. “Our rivers can bring all of us together to demonstrate to current and future residents and employers that our community is a place to invest in.”

Development is slated for eight areas on both sides of the river between Harrison Street and the historic Wells Street bridge. The $20 million price tag doesn’t include design costs or land acquisition. The city owns most of the property needed for the development. There are three properties that need to be acquired through eminent domain.

The project would be funded with money from the state Regional Cities grant, the city’s Legacy Fund and private donations. City leaders hope the development will lead people to the river from downtown.

“I think we all realize that rivers can not only be a great asset to us but can be a point of destination for a lot of visitors to our community,” Henry said.

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