More exciting investments continue to be made in our city. Wal-Mart has announced plans to build a new 200,000 square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter store at the former Southtown Mall site, now known as Southtown Centre.
Wal-Mart’s commitment to Fort Wayne is another great example that Southtown Centre will be a thriving retail location for our residents. We believe $30 million will be invested at Southtown over the next two years. Hundreds of jobs are being created, and we are bringing hope and opportunity back to the south side of our city.
The construction of the new Wal-Mart store could potentially begin by the spring of 2006, which would result in a possible store opening 8-12 months later. The project would create 350 new jobs, with approximately 75% of the positions full-time.
We are also pleased to be starting a new initiative to take downtown to the next level. Interactive public work sessions will be held May 17-19 and June 4-7. It will bring together key stakeholders, elected officials, neighborhood leaders, and the general public to specify what downtown projects and goals should be fast-tracked for development. We have created a steering committee to help guide the process and spearhead community consensus building. I encourage you to get involved and let us know your thoughts and ideas. We are working to build on the significant progress that’s already been achieved through the Downtown Blueprint for the Future.
The 2005 Living Healthier Series is underway. The city is proud to be a sponsor of the lecture series. This free program is a great opportunity for community participation as we work to be a healthier city. We all can learn valuable lessons when it comes to eating healthy, exercising, lowering stress levels, and tackling other health and medical issues. We are fortunate to live in a community that is committed to improving physical and mental fitness. For a complete schedule, visit www.livinghealthierseries.com.
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