FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – All first floor commercial space in the Landing project has been spoken for, according to the developer.
Bobby Maly from the Model Group told WANE 15 that leases have been signed or handed over to companies for every available first floor commercial spot in the 100 block of W. Columbia Street, about six weeks before a planned grand opening celebration.
“The commercial has always been the most important part, frankly, of The Landing and bringing life back to the street,” Maly explained. “We get to do that by filling the first floor spaces with great commercial spaces, that really activate the street and bring life back.”
The developer said he expects to get the final commercial agreements signed by the end of September. Every business is Fort Wayne based, with the exception of one, which has roots in the region.
“It’s been one of our main goals to create the Landing from home-grown entrepreneurship,” Maly said. “It’s coming to life.”
Those businesses include Utopian Coffee’s first retail space, Landing Artisan Brewing Company, a salon, a gym and multiple restaurants with bars. No nightclubs are planned in the block that once held several late-night spots.
“It’ll be a great place for families to come enjoy,” Maly added after acknowledging that the environment will be different on the block than in years past. “After you come down and spend a day at [Promenade] Park, come over to The Landing for dinner or just come for a couple’s night out. Just head down to The Landing and figure out when you’re down here one of five or six places, and while you’re waiting for a table, get a drink somewhere different.”
The businesses will open on different dates over a period of several months, but a date has been set for a grand opening celebration, marking the completion of work on the block. The party is set to happen in October.
Asian fusion restaurant Nawa, Columbia Street West and Bourbon Street Hideaway have been open on the Harrison Street end of the block.
Office space will eventually be filled above the commercial businesses and below the apartments. Summit City based 3BG Supply, Co. already claimed a spot.
“The dust is starting to literally settle,” Maly said as he looked up and down the block. “We’ve got people moving in upstairs, and pretty soon the place will come to life.”
Residents began moving into upper-floor apartments in June. About 30 people are living in the block. More apartments are set to open next week. Eventually there will be 70 places to live above the businesses in the block.
“The Landing has always been special for Fort Wayne historically, but I think that The Landing will feel like a very special, distinctly Fort Wayne place,” Maly said. “It’s going to have one of the most beautiful streetscapes in the city, it’s going to have some of the best architecture in the city that has been completely restored, and it’s going to have first floor space that will be completely filled with people sitting both inside and outside enjoying the community. The street is going to feel full of life.”