The South-Central Calhoun Street Corridor, the mile stretch from the Lincoln Financial campus in Downtown Fort Wayne to the historic Rialto Theater, is undergoing a renaissance. With Downtown’s exciting momentum, adjacent neighborhood revitalization, business investments, and public infrastructure improvements and beautification, SoCal is quickly developing into an attractive neighborhood commercial corridor. The SoCal Corridor for many years has had no vision and no plan. With support from the City of Fort Wayne and federal Community Development Block Grant Funding, neighborhood leaders came together to form a Development Board with the intent to create a plan and sustain implementation efforts over the long-term. Throughout this year-long planning process, perspectives were gathered via interviews, focus groups, and surveys resulting in input from over 150 community members.
The Plan document presents an ambitious but attainable slate of projects and vision for SoCal’s future development that maintains and promotes its walkability, connections to Downtowns, and ability to serve area residents with a diverse array of living options and business services. Priority elements of this plan are:
1. Strengthening Active Nodes and renovating the Rialto Theater.
2. Beginning to build a brand for the corridor by facilitating pop-up retail, street vending, pedestrian kiosks, pop-up markets and street festivals
3. Branding the corridor with placemaking crosswalks, streetscaping, public art and signage.
4. Enacting a pocket park, alleyway and parking plan and developing strong pedestrian connections with adjacent neighborhoods.
5. Strengthening existing residential and providing new, affordable rental housing in row-houses or mixed use construction.
6. Creating strong connections to downtown and turning the viaduct into a gateway to the SoCal district.
7. Creating and enacting a strong facade redevelopment initiative and constructing new mixed use construction.
8. Adding additional parking in lots behind the corridor as needed and maintaining strong pedestrian connections with adjacent neighborhoods
9. Continuing to market the corridor and promoting it through seasonal events, festivals and activities.