Greater Fort Wayne Inc. has outlined a new 10-year vision for the city and Allen County it says could eventually spark $3.5 billion in private investment. Chief Executive Officer Eric Doden detailed the plan to regional stakeholders Thursday and said it could also boost the average wage, population and GDP.
Doden says the objective is to increase the middle wage income, attract and retain top talent and grow the economy. He says several major steps, including the catalytic, $54 million Parkview Field project and $250 million invested around it, have already taken the community in the right direction. "This growth is just the beginning of the momentum that will help us overcome a key issue facing our community today: wage decline. Over the past few decades, we’ve seen a significant decline in our average wage. In 1990, it was 120 percent of the national average. Maintaining that trend, our current average wage would be $61,000 per year, but in reality, it’s $41,000 – 20 percent below the national average. That’s a 40-point decrease."
The report points to five proposed projects that are key to the future:
- An $85 million downtown arena
- $30 million redevelopment of The Landing on Columbia Street
- The $100 million Riverfront Promenade
- The potentially $250 million GE Campus redevelopment
- Newly-proposed, $180 million STEAM Park, a downtown education and entertainment campus featuring an aquarium, outdoor entertainment venue, IMAX theater and residential space.
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