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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Let's pretend

Jefferson Pointe is a "lifestyle center," if you're being positive, a "fake downtown" if you are not. Just don't call it a mall:

Also, as much as they try, lifestyle centers don't really feel like downtowns. They're fake. It feels almost Disney-esque. I've read that some of these lifestyle centers even have fake parking meters along their "Main Street," for the complete downtown feel. When it comes down to it, I guess I'd rather see fake downtowns than Elmore-style development, but even better would be bringing shopping back to our real downtown.

I've been to a few of these places besides Jefferson Pointe; there's one near Indianapolis that's even laid out like a small downtown, with cross streets and everything. As much as we've done to kill off downtowns with our living patterns, we still seem to yearn for the form. Just with better parking.

Posted in: Our town


brian stouder
Tue, 01/16/2007 - 5:56am

I have puzzled over this, too. Jefferson Pointe is a nice enough place to wander around, and it is tempting to think of the business model as a "fake downtown"; lots of storefronts, small shops (like that ice cream place), seasonal decorations - and then it struck me that what it is, is a 'restricted liberties' place....a real downtown, but a totalitarian one, where bums will simply be run off. Pretty much anyone that isn't welcome (ie - people who are loitering and not spending money) can be excluded.

(Take a skateboard into Jefferson Pointe and see how much time elapses before their private security people respond)

The answer for the 'real' downtown, if not a Circle Center style indoor mall (or a Des Moines style maze of connecting skywalks) - might be a privately owned several blocks, where private security and rules prevail...

Bob G.
Tue, 01/16/2007 - 7:32am

So all we really have to do is convince developers that we need ANOTHER "lifestyle center"...in CENTER CITY...there ya go...!

Talk about reinventing the wheel...I love it!


Tue, 01/16/2007 - 7:39am

I am suprised no one in charge of planning has thought of sky walks over busy Clinton St to get to either side of Headwaters. We have Lawton park right on the other side of the bridge and activities could be scheduled there. They should have something going on at Headwaters every single weekend during nice weather. Bicycle rentals, hot dog stands, moon walk and water slides, a DJ that alternates every hour with a varied type of music, a dog walk where people could all types of other dogs, how about showing old movies on a building downtown on Saturday evenings with a vendor to sell hot dogs, elephant ears, popcorn and soda and coffee? These are not expensive ideas and would attract people downtown. Riverboat gambling, ferry rides down the river with enactments along the way (like at Cedar Point)How about stand up comedy and karoke contests? We could use some of that millions for a stadium to build a stage.

Steve Towsley
Wed, 01/17/2007 - 12:10am

Yes, and better parking is the one thing our elected officials are chronically incompetent to budget and build.

Who would have thought urban parking is the most sophisticated test of a Fort Wayne CEO's or politician's competence and leadership I.Q.?

Apparently more PHDs should write their theses on the basics of downtown parking.

Thu, 01/18/2007 - 7:34am