New Southwest Specialist
As I reported to you earlier, City of Fort Wayne Southwest Neighborhood Specialist Deb Morrone left this position recently to become the Director of Training for the Regional Community Policing Institute at Taylor University. While, we were very sorry to see Deb go, I am pleased to announce that we have selected a new Southwest Neighborhood Specialist who should be able to hit the ground running.
Beginning November 29th, Gina Kostoff will become a key City government contact for Waynedale and the rest of the Southwest Fort Wayne quadrant. Gina brings to the position a wealth of knowledge about the workings of government. Gina previously served taxpayers as a research assistant for the Fort Wayne City Council. Gina is a homeowner and an active member of our community. I am confident that she will serve the needs of citizens, businesses and neighborhoods in Southwest Fort Wayne.
Southtown Mall Developments
I am also encouraged by developments involving Southtown Mall. It has become painfully clear that the mall's current owner has no intention of committing resources to renovate the property. So, in an effort to spur action on the part of the property's owner, I asked the Fort Wayne Redevelopment Commission to draft a redevelopment plan for Southtown. That plan, following State of Indiana guidelines, calls for a declaration of blight. This designation would allow the City to purchase the Southtown property at a fair market price and then sell the property to a qualified, quality developer who will commit to renovating and revitalizing the property. The redevelopment plan received approval from the Redevelopment Commission. Now, the plan goes to the City Plan Commission and the Fort Wayne City Council for their respective approvals. Already, several potential developers have expressed interest in purchasing the property, and discussions continue with possible anchor tenants.