FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – The City of Fort Wayne recently announced its plans to begin the revitalization of the Renaissance Pointe neighborhood.

The Pontiac Streetscape project is set to start construction to make the corridor more pedestrian friendly, improve access to businesses and incentivize reinvestment.

This includes making sidewalks along Pontiac Street wider, installing new traffic lights to help slow down traffic in the area and adding new landscaping.

The first phase of the projects will be on Hanna and Oliver Streets. Other phases include the corner of Pontiac Street and Weisser Park Avenue along with South Anthony Boulevard.

Anthony Ridley, President of the Renaissance Pointe Neighborhood Association, said the city is on the right track when it comes to the southeast area strategy.

“I am definitely in support of these projects. The sidewalks are in bad shape and are very narrow. They were designed back in the 1940s and 1950s when the standards were different,” Ridley said.

He believes traffic in the neighborhood needs to be slowed down and likes what the city has planned. He wants to see the block enhanced and the addition of bicycle lanes since he added that has become a main line of transportation for people in the community.

The need for a grocery store in the neighborhood is another thing he would like to see happen in the future. The area lacks one currently and has been considered a food desert for a long time.

“We had a Starbucks that opened in our area recently and we hope to attract other new businesses to the neighborhood,” Ridley said.

Renaissance Pointe has a lack of housing. Ridley said Habitat for Humanity has stepped in and is helping the city build affordable housing near the corridor and in the Oxford Association.

“They will be building 10 housing complexes in the city with garages in them for security reasons. These apartments will be more modern, affordable and energy efficient,” he added.

They plan to build some of the apartment complexes where businesses are located at the bottom and housing is on top.

He pointed to how many of the homes in the neighborhood are older and don’t have the amenities as newer homes.

The organization also plans to build single family homes to help encourage homeownership.

“Building new housing is going to help meet the needs of the people,” he said.

The projects are set to be completed by spring 2024.

With the new projects underway, the neighborhood has seen some things that have already been completed. The basketball court and landscaping at Powell Park were updated and the neighborhood YMCA and Boy’s and Girl’s Club have received funding for improving them.

“We want to continue to improve the area’s growth. This is what we’ve been waiting for,” he said.