Mayor Tom Henry recalls protests, other notable 2020 moments

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As COVID-19 vaccinations were given out to healthcare professionals and

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – As COVID-19 vaccinations were given out to healthcare professionals and Electric Works developers prepared to sign of on making the project a reality, Mayor Tom Henry sat down Tuesday with WANE 15 to discuss the year 2020 has been.

Downtown Protests

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have gathered the majority of news coverage of any news story in 2020, nationwide summer protests that turned local will likely be remembered for years to come.

In the fall, the mayor’s Commission for Police Reform and Racial Justice announced that it had put together formal recommendations in response to the unrest. The first two days of protests in Fort Wayne, following the death of George Floyd, resulted in confrontations with police officers, tear gas launched and business windows smashed. Days later, Mayor Tom Henry led a march to the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bridge.

Electric Works

The potential success of the massive project to transform Fort Wayne’s former General Electric campus into Electric Works came into question months after developers made the biggest tenant announcement yet.

Developers revealed in early 2020 that Do It Best would move its corporate headquarters to the northwest portion of the campus. Months later, the Redevelopment Commission voted to nix the Economic Development Agreement that pledged public money to the project, citing missed deadlines and benchmarks by the developers. A new agreement was put in place after a secondary developer and local investor joined the effort.

Potential Soccer Stadium

Another development project that got some attention over the summer months was a potential future soccer stadium on the North River property. Local soccer star DaMarcus Beasley confirmed to WANE 15 after revealing to ESPN goals of building the stadium along with attracting a new professional team to Fort Wayne.