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As renovation of buildings continues, Fort Wayne seeks bids to improve streetscape on ‘The Landing’

City officials are seeking bids for streetscape improvements to the Landing, which will create a pedestrian-friendly block that includes renovated historic buildings and new construction. (Courtesy image)
The new building will fill the now-empty space once offupied by One Rose Marie Alley. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of News-Sentinel.com)
The renovated Landing will open this year and is a mix of old and new construction (Courtesy image)
Historic buildings along Columbia Street are being converted into housing and space for shops and restaurants. (Photo by Kevin Leininger of News-Sentinel.com)

With work now well underway on the $35 million redevelopment of the Columbia Street “Landing,” the city is turning its attention to upgrading the street-level appearance of the historic downtown block.

The Board of Works is expected to open bids Aug. 7 for a project that will remove the existing sidewalk and asphalt pavement in favor of a “pedestrian-friendly streetscape plaza which would eliminate the curb and incorporate the street with the surrounding sidewalk areas. Gate features would be added at both the Calhoun and Harrison ends. The gates would open and shut in order to close the street to vehicular traffic during given times.”

In addition, the project description states, “New architectural concrete seeded with red and grey colored granite chips would be installed throughout the entire right of way . . . Construction would also include installation of in-ground landscape planting beds, including 14 new trees with up-lighting, flush wooden boardwalks, benches with accent lights, new streetlights, and storm improvements. The intersection of West Columbia and Harrison would be raised to the same elevation as the new pavement on West Columbia . . . This intersection also includes a portion of the urban trail located along the east side of Harrison between the vehicular travel lanes and sidewalk. The urban trail is intended to encourage pedestrian and cyclist activity by providing an additional 10′ wide travel lane at sidewalk elevation that links major destinations along Harrison and Superior with the Rivergreenway.”

The News-Sentinel has obtained new renderings illustrating the project’s appearance. Officials last year said the work could cost about $2.5 million, to be funded by the city.

Cincinnati-based Model Group is lead developer of the project, which is expected to create about 113,600 square feet of commercial space and 72 residential units. Most of the remaining historic buildings on the block, which got its name because Wabash and Erie Canal boats once landed there, will be renovated and a new 8,425-square-foot building will be erected on the former site of the One Rose Marie Alley office building, which was built after the historic Rosemarie Hotel burned in 1975.

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