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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:14 am 
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:27 am 
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Too Much Free Time
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READ THE FULL DOWNTOWN PLUS BASESBALL STADIUM PLAN HERE:
http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/images/stories/fort_wayne/city_of_fort_wayne/files/report_full.pdf

THEY ARE ALSO PLANNING HARRISON SQUARE. SEE PICS HERE-
http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1047&Itemid=634

Mayor Announces Details of Proposed Downtown Development Initiative

Mayor Graham Richard today was joined by City of Fort Wayne, Allen County and State government leaders as well as the owner of the Fort Wayne Wizards, and business, community and neighborhood leaders to present an update on plans for a proposed downtown development project with the working name of “Harrison Square.â€

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:31 am 
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Too Much Free Time
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WBOB wrote:
If figures. The city has already quietly buying out the properties
involved(though there's a couple of holdouts that might test
the imminent domain law).

It amazes me that our officials still haven't answered the
undying question of what is this going to be used for in
the months of October thru March. What revenue/traffic
is this going to generate during that time????

Places cart before horse! :-s


Thank gawd the owner of After Dark is fighting back by buying up property along Calhoun for his gay square. :shock: Fashion, martini's & dancing, here I come.

[quote]For the future
Bar owner sees budding gay district in downtown sector
By Emma Downs
The Journal Gazette

Laura J. Gardner/The Journal Gazette
Leo Vodde, owner of clubs After Dark and Babylon, celebrates 25 years as a downtown business owner this week.

The skyline looks different from the south end of town. Drive north on South Calhoun Street, and the first thing you see is the One Summit Square, stark and looming like a spire against the bare branches and sky. Then, slowly – as you travel beneath the railroad tracks, following the rise of the street – the city begins to blossom. The steeple of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception grows from the ground like the nimble branches of a tree. The street, dotted with stoplights, is suddenly flanked by the Lincoln National building, the National City Bank building, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory.

“It’s a beautiful view, isn’t it?â€

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:35 am 
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conley wrote:
I don't understand why you think it's a bad idea? Seriously, why is it a bad idea? I'm curious.


I don't think it's horribly wrong, but I would prefer to see a massive multi-use facility rather than a just a dedicated baseball stadium. As the Blueprint Plus plan proposes, it would be primarily baseball with no other entertainment uses.

Personally, I can't wait for all the downtown lofts to start opening up :)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:29 pm 
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The mayor was on NPR this morning and specifically mentioned concerts and other activities at the staduim. I'm all for it if it is truly more than just a baseball stadium. The Dylan show was really fun because it was outside in Fort Wayne. It'd be great if they did more things like that. We do need more hotels downtown. The company I work for is bringing one of the annual events we used to do out of town (in Indy) to the Grand Wayne Center. I believe we had to reserve EVERY SINGLE available hotel room in the downtown area for the event. and I think we'll still be short. There was a huge debate before they renovated the Coliseum to build a new multi-purpose arena downtown, and that got blasted out of the water. Hopefully the city will have more support this time!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:29 pm 
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LC Pwince wrote:
The mayor was on NPR this morning and specifically mentioned concerts and other activities at the staduim. !


It would depend on which proposal they actually move forward with. The one that's posted on the city's web site (link in my post above) is modeled after primary-use facilities, with minimal retail & meeting space only -available during the off season.


Quote:
E. Contrary to what one might assume, most of these new stadiums do not attempt to serve as multi-purpose event facilities. They are first and foremost baseball parks, and they focus their efforts on doing that exceptionally well. There are two important observations to make in association with this trend. The first is that while, under the current circumstances, the Wizards' schedule would account for about 68
event days a year, there will be increased opportunities to use a new baseball stadium to host additional baseball activity so long as that activity can be effectively coordinated with the Wizards' needs. Much of that baseball-related activity would be consistent with an area of existing community strength. That is to say tournament competitions in collegiate, high school, and youth baseball – something Fort Wayne already does very well – are all potential uses of the facility.

The second important exception to the "baseball only" focus of the more recently designed facilities is that, while they do not focus on attracting non-baseball specialevents to the facility, they do build year-round retail and meeting space opportunities into the facility design.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 3:54 pm 
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I personnally think it's a great idea. I'm not even a baseball fan, but I think it's one of the only shots we'll have at creating some sort of excitement downtown. When you look at the participants that go to a game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, sure, some of them are baseball fans; but, it's the evnt that makes it fun, it's the cool little pubs & such that have sprouted out around the stadium that makes it a total event......Do you really think people go to a Cubs game to support the Cubs? Trust me, many of them are there for the 'party". A downtown stadium will potentially bring thousands of people downtown that would have normally NEVER ventured downtown........how can that be a negative? Right now, our baseball stadium is surrounded by a parking lot.....can you imagine Wrigley Field placed in the middle of a cement parking lot? I doubt that it would be the same event. This proposal has more to do about getting people downtown, than it does baseball.

I believe other activities & businesses will begin to evolve, indirectly, as a result of this venue.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:15 pm 
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I don't think you can "create" excitement downtown. Maybe you can create a cultural and economic environment that attracts the kind of people who like to go downtown. Until you do that, no building is going to work.

Look at Grand Rapids, Des Moines, any medium sized city that had a successful downtown revitalization project: they are populated by lots of young, transient white-color professionals, who go to shows and museums, who spend money at nice joints in interesting settings.

Now look at Fort Wayne. Very few young, transient white-collar professionals (they mostly seem to be transitioning to other places), MOR shows, empty museum, people think DUI Friday's is a nice place for dinner.

You can't erect a building that will fix this.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:19 pm 
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LC Pwince wrote:
The mayor was on NPR this morning and specifically mentioned concerts and other activities at the staduim. I'm all for it if it is truly more than just a baseball stadium. The Dylan show was really fun because it was outside in Fort Wayne. It'd be great if they did more things like that. We do need more hotels downtown. The company I work for is bringing one of the annual events we used to do out of town (in Indy) to the Grand Wayne Center. I believe we had to reserve EVERY SINGLE available hotel room in the downtown area for the event. and I think we'll still be short. There was a huge debate before they renovated the Coliseum to build a new multi-purpose arena downtown, and that got blasted out of the water. Hopefully the city will have more support this time!


Concerts? Yeah...in the snow...that will be a BLAST...and a packed house I am sure...

This is ALSO a BS line..

Quote:
Project costs for the initial phase, including land and infrastructure, would be around $125 million. Approximately 50% of the total project cost would come from public sources. The remaining 50% would be privately financed. When all phases of the project are completed, it’s expected that the overall costs would be 60% private and 40% public. Property taxes would not be used to finance the public sector portion of the development.


This will be 100% financed with our tax money..why because everyone with their hand in the pocket will be getting city kick backs from other taxes to pay for their 'private' ventures...and as far as no 'property' taxes paying..also BS because they will move money around and something that wouldn't usually be paid for with property taxes will suddenly get moved to that list..

It is a lame idea...a stupid plan...and will fail misurably...funny how a few years back they wanted to build a facility for less money (with actual private investors) and hands down said NO to the 'downtown arena', but then decided to put damn near 100 mil. into the existing facility (the colesium). Now they are going to try to do something downtown to then compete with it in the city?

They really have no clue what they are doing when this sh*t comes around every other year...

They also underestimate the city wide apathy...they can't get people to do anything with what they have and the whole heartedly...and WRONGLY believe giving them something new will change that. It never has and never will.

Until they give a REASON to come downtown other than a nice facility they will not draw anyone down there. I especially wont want to be down there to try and leave any establishment after a concert, game, event, or anything and try to get passed the hordes of cops lying in wait to bust you for anything and everything you are not doing wrong in the first place...

Eliminate the 'police state' that this town lives in and maybe people will start leaving their house for a change...that would be a good start.

Chris


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:21 pm 
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OH..I should also mention..the GWC (more specifically the Hilton)...has posted the single worst year in their history...

Great move on their part..lol...oh..and the GM of the facility is pretty sure it isn't getting any better that fast...I remember that interview a few months back.

Chris


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 7:37 pm 
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What is the point in revitalizing downtown?


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:02 pm 
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Well said Sankofa. Why indeed?

Why tear down an aging liquor store, that makes a profit, to build a second unprofitable hotel, that will serve the unprofitable Grand Wayne Center? And displace MORE downtown businesses to build a ball park?

BIG MISTAKES IN DOWNTOWN--

1. Anthony Wayne Expressway. Interstates thru the downtown area would have changed the course of this city's history.

2. The Grand Wayne Center. A poorly designed, poorly executed plan....that was expanded to double the boondoggle. Ever been to an event there? Ever stay at the Hilton? Have dinner there? Drink in the bar? Neither have 99 percent of the people in the city.

3. The Botanical Conservatory. A nice enough structure, but it was built at the cost of displacing probably 30 active, viable businesses. With the exception of Belmont, and the Palace, NONE remained downtown.....many gave up altogether. The two that remained are going to be forced out with this 'improvement.' The return of residents, employees and customers downtown are what's going to fuel revitalization....not $7 beers, with the profits going to Atlanta.

4. Midtowne Crossing(e). Take the historic buildings....tear them down....put up crappy looking apartments like you could find anywhere in town, but without parking, grocery stores, drug stores, or any other amenities nearby. IS it any wonder the units in the old buildings sold first....and it took years to lease the rest?

5. Parking lots. It's easier to tear down a building and put up a parking lot in this city than almost anywhere in the country. Imagine if those old buildings were still around....as artists lofts, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, bookstores...

5a. Freimann Square/Arts United Center/Museum of Art. Same thing. Imagine Columbia Street with multiple blocks of rehabbed old buildings, and the museums and green space mixed in. Easy enough call with hindsight, but still a serious error in judgement.

Just a few off the top of my head.

The 300k people that go to Wizards games, will simply clog the streets downtown and make Light and Breuning money. It's a wash from the north side. And there's certainly no incentive to stay once the event's over.

Want to revitalize downtown? Get people a place to live, and the amenities so they don't have to truck supplies in from the north or west. That would be a good start. Baseball? Just another way for out of town real estate people to get rich.

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Still waiting on confirmation of my new Harrison Square condominium purchase.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:19 pm 
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Too Much Free Time
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tiny wrote:
Well said Sankofa. Why indeed?

Why tear down an aging liquor store, that makes a profit, to build a second unprofitable hotel, that will serve the unprofitable Grand Wayne Center? And displace MORE downtown businesses to build a ball park?

BIG MISTAKES IN DOWNTOWN--

1. Anthony Wayne Expressway. Interstates thru the downtown area would have changed the course of this city's history.

2. The Grand Wayne Center. A poorly designed, poorly executed plan....that was expanded to double the boondoggle. Ever been to an event there? Ever stay at the Hilton? Have dinner there? Drink in the bar? Neither have 99 percent of the people in the city.

3. The Botanical Conservatory. A nice enough structure, but it was built at the cost of displacing probably 30 active, viable businesses. With the exception of Belmont, and the Palace, NONE remained downtown.....many gave up altogether. The two that remained are going to be forced out with this 'improvement.' The return of residents, employees and customers downtown are what's going to fuel revitalization....not $7 beers, with the profits going to Atlanta.

4. Midtowne Crossing(e). Take the historic buildings....tear them down....put up crappy looking apartments like you could find anywhere in town, but without parking, grocery stores, drug stores, or any other amenities nearby. IS it any wonder the units in the old buildings sold first....and it took years to lease the rest?

5. Parking lots. It's easier to tear down a building and put up a parking lot in this city than almost anywhere in the country. Imagine if those old buildings were still around....as artists lofts, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, bookstores...

5a. Freimann Square/Arts United Center/Museum of Art. Same thing. Imagine Columbia Street with multiple blocks of rehabbed old buildings, and the museums and green space mixed in. Easy enough call with hindsight, but still a serious error in judgement.

Just a few off the top of my head.

The 300k people that go to Wizards games, will simply clog the streets downtown and make Light and Breuning money. It's a wash from the north side. And there's certainly no incentive to stay once the event's over.

Want to revitalize downtown? Get people a place to live, and the amenities so they don't have to truck supplies in from the north or west. That would be a good start. Baseball? Just another way for out of town real estate people to get rich.


Point point point point and again...point...

This town rarely if EVER does anything right...and those are only a SMALL example of how they screw up. I couldn't agree more with that post. And yes...who is getting paid for this? The realtors, politicians, council, contractors, and others with the heads so far up each others asses they can't see the light...

@ conley: Wrigley field is a FAR strecth of an example...Chicago was not built around that park...the park was plopped in the middle of an already booming area/city...and I go for the Cubs...and get the bonus of the party...;)

Chris


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:26 am 
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I believe that these plans have to be voted on by our city councilmen before they are approved. And those councilmen will be up for re-election soon. Let THEM know your thoughts and feelings too!!!

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 10:55 am 
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All the arguments above.....are the reasons why I don't live in Allen County.

Huntington County isn't much better. The only area I see growing in this area is Whitley County and their days are numbered as well.

Unless someone makes a massive investment into attracting service industries here, we as an area are doomed for the forseeable future (until property prices and wages plummet, then it will be attractive to businesses).


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