Signs were posted along the pathway in Lions Park to the shelter where a Frances Slocum neighborhood meeting was held Wednesday night. The signs read “What is Parkview thinking?”
The meeting was held to get input from residents on a low-income housing project near the neighborhood located by Parkview Hospital Randallia on East State Boulevard in Fort Wayne. Needless to say, public input was not very positive.
“If I was to go in your addition, buy three lots and tear it down, and have somebody build a low-income building in there, would you like that?” said one concerned resident.
People came up to the microphone and said they were concerned the project would bring crime to the neighborhood or bring down property values.
Officials said they have done projects similar to this in the past that resulted in property values increasing by 10 to 12%, but not everyone was convinced.
“I’ve been a real estate broker for over 20 years,” another concerned resident said in response to those numbers. “Give me a break! That is ridiculous!”
Not everyone was against the proposal. One person said it would fix an eyesore and open the door to improving neighborhood infrastructure.
“This is going to give us an extra voice to get that infrastructure here via the city,” that supporter said. “That means sidewalks. That means sewage. This is an extra voice.”
The sale is not final. Parkview can still decide to back back out. One Parkview representative didn’t rule that out as a possibility.
:”I think we’re looking at everything right now,” Ben Miles, President of Parkview Regional Medical Center and Affiliates said. “We want to make sure that we’re not painting ourselves into a corner, but this process is pretty far along, not so far along that we haven’t been able to pause and really draw in some feedback, but what we’re trying to do is just figure out so where do we go with this?”
City officials say the dialogue has to continue before anyone makes a decision on what to do.
“I think the right thing to do is to continue this dialogue,” City Councilman Russ Jehl said. “This whole thing, this entire discussion, this emotion comes from a feeling tht not all of the cards were on the table, and so now everybody is at the table. All the cards are turned up, and the dialogue is where it should be with the stakeholders, and I applaud them for that.”
No final decision has been reached yet on what will happen with the property.