(Saige Driver/WOWO Radio)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): The first phrase of the riverfront development project is projected to cost $16 million more than originally planned.

Mayor Tom Henry unveiled the first phrase of the riverfront development project on Wednesday afternoon and it’s expected to cost $20 million.

The initial cost of the first phrase was approximately $8 million and only included a waterfront promenade park pavilion. Now the first phrase features an event lawn, an entry plaza, a dock, an interactive sculpture and a children’s play area on both banks of the St. Mary’s River between the Harrison Street and Historic Wells Street bridges.

(Saige Driver/WOWO Radio)
(Saige Driver/WOWO Radio)

“Our time is now to make Fort Wayne’s riverfront a world-class development,” Henry said. “Our rivers can bring all of us together to demonstrate to current and future residents and employers that our community is a place to invest in.”

“We could do it for $8 million, but that’s not what you want,” Parks and Recreations Director Al Moll said.

Before construction can begin, Fort Wayne needs to acquire three properties on Superior and Harrison Streets, which isn’t factored into the $20 million. The city plans to use eminent domain to get those properties. The first court date is set for August.

Construction is expected to start in mid-to-late 2017 with completion in mid-to-late 2018. The city said potential funding could come from Regional Cities, the Legacy Fund and private contributions.

RELATED: Legacy Joint Funding Committee Approves $6 Million for Riverfront Development

Anyone wanting to learn more about the design and first phrase of the project can attend an informational session is at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the Arts United Center at 303 E. Main St.

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