Urbanites Ready to Call Harrison Home

By Max Resnik

April 25, 2012 Updated Apr 25, 2012 at 5:59 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – As construction continues on The Harrison, demand for apartments in the 43 unit complex increases.

To date, 10 of the 43 apartments overlooking Parkview Field are filled. BND Commercial, the company overseeing the leasing of apartments at The Harrison and condos at the Anthony Wayne Building, says opening day of the TinCaps season has added to the intrigue of living in downtown Fort Wayne. Currently 50 prospects are lined up to be kept in the loop about possible leasing opportunities.

One of the 10 tenants realizing this possibility is Douglas Perry. He and his wife are among the first who will call The Harrison home. Perry refers to his family as urbanites, having lived in cities like San Francisco, New York City and recently in Indianapolis. Perry says city living carries energy.

“It has to do with the energy. When downtown is merely for business, it's fine during the day but becomes a ghost town during the night. When people live downtown, the downtown becomes a community.”

Perry says the opportunity to live downtown is something he and his wife sought even before construction on The Harrison began in early 2012.

“We actually were interested in being part of any kind of urban movement for Fort Wayne. And what we learned about the Harrison, what we learned about the potential building there, we were extremely interested even before the plans had moved ahead with construction."

The decision to snatch one of the first apartments at The Harrison was not only easy for the urban style life that comes with living downtown but for the attractions that are within walking distance. Fans of baseball, the theater and art, the Perrys say this move is an easy one.

“It doesn’t hurt that we love baseball. We have season tickets to the TinCaps and they’re right around next door. We love to do urban things. We love the performing arts, for example. I’m on the board of the philharmonic. We go to the Embassy all the time for philharmonic concerts. The museum’s right over there, restaurants and so forth. All of that’s very important to us.”

The feelings held by the Perrys are feelings the City of Fort Wayne hopes more families will experience. Redevelopment Commission Director Greg Leatherman is focused on creating an atmosphere where families can live downtown. He says the opportunities continue to foster.

“Here, you’re seeing real, new, additional housing being filled up downtown, which we think then will generate more services, whether it be pharmacy, grocery store, dry cleaning, other types of things that people need who live downtown.”

Leatherman says one of the major catalysts in the push for downtown living is Parkview Field. He says the centralized location of one of Fort Wayne’s most popular attractions is getting more residents to come downtown who might have otherwise not visited at all.

“I think that the ballpark really helped some people, who had no other reason to come downtown, to discover downtown for the first time. And fortunately as a community we're responding to that, we're building on that success and this project is an example of that.”

The Perrys lived in Indianapolis during the early 1990s and were able to witness its growth. They say that experience, coupled with living in other big cities, gives them a great deal of comfort about the prospects of not only living in downtown Fort Wayne, but for the city's overall future.

“When we moved there, [Indianapolis] it was a ghost town. When they started building downtown living, it was absolutely transformed. Indianapolis is like a little Chicago. It’s just unbelievable how that city has grown. So, I’ve see it work before. We've lived in major cities and downtown living before and we just loved it – the energy of it.”

The Perrys hope their story will attract more residents to consider the move.

Thirty-three apartments remain available at The Harrison.




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