The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, August 14, 2019 2:00 pm

Duck Street land strip transferred to Redevelopment Commission


The ownership transfer of a tiny strip of park-owned land along Fort Wayne's Duck Street revealed concerns about the effect of a riverfront-related project on Headwaters Park festivals.

The Fort Wayne Board of Park Commissioners today after a public hearing voted unanimously to transfer the 8-by-350-foot strip along the north side of the Club Soda parking lot to the city's Redevelopment Commission.

Joe Giant, redevelopment manager, told the board the transfer would enable development of the proposed Lofts at Headwaters Park.

The multistory, mixed-use development by Barrett and Stokely of Indianapolis would contain 232 apartments, a 600- to 700-space parking garage in the interior and ground-floor commercial space.

But representatives of the nonprofit Friends of the Parks and the Fort Wayne Pride festival told the board the transfer of the land, as well as the development plans, could negatively affect festival operations.

Access to areas of the park used by food trucks and vendors would be curtailed without changes, said Kristy Lindeman, volunteer coordinator for the Pride festival.

The project itself is being built on one of  the few area lots with free parking, she said.

"That parking lot is used to full capacity," she said.

Edward Welling, president of Friends of the Parks, said the parking area contains underground utilities that support the festivals as well as access points for large vehicles.

"The plans do not indicate how these functions will be maintained," he said, reading from a letter submitted to the board.

Justin Shurley, park commissioner, said there are no plans to develop the land as a park, saying its only use now is holding about a half-dozen trees.

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