FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Preparations have begun for phase two of the construction projects at the Riverfront public space.

The city recently demolished two material storage buildings on the Schaab Metal site on Harrison Street and will replace them with walking paths, a plaza space and ornamental lighting.

“This has been a really fun one for me to work on and a lot of my staff,” said Jonathan Leist, director of redevelopment for the Schaab Metal site. “With this Schaab building, we are really excited to have an adaptive reuse project.”

He added that the developer, Don Steininger, will maintain much of the historic integrity of the remaining, undemolished building.

The site will have glass added to it along with about three new storefronts that will all face towards the river.

“There is a cool rooftop area that faces the river that would be amazing for dining,” Leist said.

He and Steininger have considered putting in an Esports space. They have met with people in the community that are active in the Esports world and heard from them that there is a demand for a space in the city.

A boulder mound, amphitheater, hammock grove and gardens will also be put into the space. The city’s next step will be removing trees along the north bank of the St. Mary’s River from Clinton Street to Ewing Street and on the south bank of the river near the intersection of Ewing and Superior Streets.

They plan to clear trees in order to allow for the construction of another section of the elevated tree canopy trail in addition to stabilizing the banks and building a dock near Clinton Street with a floating dock being installed as well.

New trees will be planted as part of the Riverfront projects both onsite and at an off-site mitigation area. Utility relocation will also be included in the list of projects at the Riverfront.

The tree clearing will be completed by April 2023.