From a state-of-the-art baseball stadium to a whole new riverfront district, Downtown Fort Wayne has seen so many remarkable developments in just the last 15 years. And that investment is paying off. Venture Downtown any day of the week, and you’ll see a level of vibrancy that may have been hard to imagine 20 years ago.
With all the motion, it’s no wonder that companies and organizations are flocking to the heart of our city — looking to be a part of the action.
We spoke with a few businesses that have decided to make the move downtown. Here’s what they had to say:
Why did you decide to move to Downtown Fort Wayne?
Tracy Choka at Swiss Re:
We’re delighted to be able to offer such a modern, well-designed workspace that’s accessible and plugged into the city’s vibrant downtown environment. One of our corporate priorities is to create dynamic, desirable workspaces for our current and future employees. Fort Wayne is a key talent hub for Swiss Re, and this location helps us better host our many visitors from across the country and around the world.
Korrin Taylor at BRAVE Alliance:
We chose Downtown Fort Wayne for our BRAVE Alliance for many reasons:
First, the building we’re in is large enough to hold events, and the open floor plan is versatile enough for the many different group activities we provide.
Second, the location is perfect; it’s just across the street from Fort Wayne PRIDE Center, it’s near affirming churches, and it’s on a visible, well-lit, and security-monitored corner. There are bike lanes and a city bus stop right in front of our building, so we’re easily accessible by all. The space has large windows all around, and it feels very open and free. But it also feels safe and comfortable.
Third, we love the industrial “work in progress” look here. We‘ve been able to build walls for our therapy offices, and customize the space in a way that helps us represent and serve the queer community.
Brian Hench at Ted’s Snack + Bar:
We are very excited to be part of Downtown Fort Wayne and Promenade Park. We had been exploring options for a new location, and downtown was high on our list. I believe that having a vibrant downtown is key to a healthy city, and ours is on a great trajectory with all the recent growth and development. We want to be more involved with the city and share in its growth, so partnering with the Parks Department made sense for us.
Rich Galbreath at Northstar Mortgage:
My partners and I grew up in Fort Wayne, so we can appreciate the transformation taking place downtown. When we launched Northstar Mortgage in 2022, with leading-edge technology and unique home loan programs, we knew being in the heart of the city was the best place to connect with our diverse population. The energy downtown is real, and we enjoy it every day—meeting with folks at our office, or taking short walks for lunch at one of the many wonderful locales. We’re simply better being downtown!
Ashlee Baumgartner at Country Heritage Winery:
We had looked at adding a location downtown Fort Wayne for several years. We wanted to be more accessible and part of all the exciting events and experiences happening in the area. When DeBrand Fine Chocolates approached us about taking over their downtown location, while still offering their chocolate, we realized it was the perfect match. Who doesn’t love chocolate and wine?
Amber Reid at The Local Archive:
Growth! There were limits to what we could do at the old location, one being the number of people who could utilize the studio at the same time. In our new location, we’re never short on space. There’s even room for storage spaces for our members!
The other—and most important—reason for the move is the prime location. We’re no longer on the “outskirts” of downtown. The heart of our city is full of vibrant life, and now, our clients and members can be part of it. Not to mention the murals, parks, shops, food, and coffee—literally all right outside our door!
Molly Conner is a Fort Wayne native and freelance writer. Having lived in Downtown Fort Wayne throughout her twenties, she loves watching her stomping grounds grow. With her love of storytelling and community in tow, she’s eager to tell Downtown Fort Wayne’s story piece-by-piece—exploring the people, spaces, and organizations that make it thrive.