Making History, Again


The Landing


Fort Wayne, Indiana



100,000 SF Renovation

35,000 SF New Construction

Utopian Coffee

2,000 SF

Landing Beer Co. 

6,400 SF

3BG Supply Co. 

11,000 SF

(5,500 SF on 3rd and 4th Floors)

Rooftop Patio: 1,000 SF

Rooftop Conference Room: 360 S


70 apartments, 8 restaurants,
and 6 large commercial
tenant spaces, streetscape design

Team Leader

Zachary Benedict

Zach Benedict

AIA, LEED AP, Principal

For more than 185 years, The Landing has been a central figure in Fort Wayne’s history. After lying dormant for years, its rebirth will make history all over again.

Columbia Street (affectionately referred to as “The Landing” for generations) has a long history in downtown Fort Wayne. As one of the oldest commercial districts in northern Indiana, the area had been underutilized for decades. Recent resurgence in downtown redevelopment sparked a renewed interest in the area.


Envisioned as a mixed-use development designed for work-live-play, this public/private partnership between the City of Fort Wayne and The Model Group (developer of “Over-the-Rhine” district in downtown Cincinnati) utilizes a complex financial model to make this complicated project a reality.


While the historic buildings will be carefully restored, a new four-story mixed building will be positioned in the heart of the development. The new construction will honor the scale and character of its historic neighbors while clearly moving The Landing into the 21st century.


With the commencement of riverfront development one block north, and the projected growth of the Arts District one block to the east, the location of The Landing perfectly fits its goal – to be a catalyst for continued interest and growth in downtown Fort Wayne.

The Landing Gateway Markers


Rather than a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of The Landing streetscape, there was a lifting of the gates. In addition to the careful restoration and reuse of numerous buildings, MKM led the design of The Landing Gateway Markers. Designed as a place to work, live, and play, special importance was given to the streetscape as a gathering and pedestrian-friendly place.


The street, buzzing with new businesses ranging from boutiques to restaurants is designed as a complete street, with calming automobile traffic and heightened pedestrian mobility. The district gateway system protects pedestrians from regular street traffic, but allows for street access as needed.


The design for the Gateway Markers was inspired by industrial age canal lanterns calling back to The Landing’s history. The challenge was to marry the design inspiration with a functional gating system. Our team developed prototypes by hand sketching and 3D modeling, completing a series of 3D diagrams and construction documents for the markers.


Yellow gate arms, coordinating with The Landing’s signature branding developed by One Lucky Guitar, nest into a latticed metal structure on each end of the historic district. When lowered, the gates create a barrier indicating vehicles are unable to pass through. However, the design did take into consideration the potential of vehicular strikes to the gates, resulting in breakaway arms that prevent damage to the overall structure. MKM worked closely with Structural Engineering Services to achieve a design that prevents potential damage to the metal frame if a vehicle were to strike the concrete base. At night, the tops of the Gateway Markers are illuminated, reminiscent of the canal lanterns that once guided boats on their way to The Landing.   

The coffee roaster known for transitioning farmers from coca to coffee production in the Cauca region has opened its first retail location in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana on The Landing.

Utopian Coffee + Kitchen is one of the newest additions to The Landing historic district in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana. The design highlights the historic origins of the space by exposing original wood beams and flooring. Near the back of the coffee shop, a small tasting room is framed by original factory windows repurposed to add natural light through from the dining area. The interior is anchored by a curved coffee bar lined with seating where guests can watch baristas pour drinks from the locally designed Modbar espresso machine.


The owners of neighboring Utopian Coffee + Kitchen and Landing Beer Company had a strong vision for the co-owned spaces. The restaurants share a kitchen connected by a common service corridor. Between the two buildings, a lobby for residential tenants on the upper floors of the building features a second entrance to the coffee shop.


MKM produced final design and construction documents and led the coordination of the design team, including MEP, interior design, and food services consultants. Model Construction was instrumental in bringing the design to life, making the new tenants’ dream a reality.

The tech-focused sales company for Industrial MRO Products has found a new home on The Landing.

3BG Supply Company’s new office embraces its historic space by exposing the original brick, beams, and wood flooring. Exposed ductwork and the open office floorplan compliment the historic features with an industrial look. Conference rooms throughout the office feature glass partitions allowing natural light to pass through to the open office. The design required close coordination with electrical engineers to run the necessary conduit and data cables for workstations at the high-tech company. 3BG’s new space also features a rooftop patio with striking views of the downtown skyline. The paver patio also features and enclosed conference room.

Landing Beer Company offers beer and barbeque on the newly restored historic district. The fresh interior fit-out exposes over 100 years of building history.

Approaching the entrance, patrons are invited inside by large storefront windows with view of the vibrant interiors. The windows are framed by restored limestone bays, providing views of the outdoor seating and the revitalized streetscape. The newly constructed addition to The Landing, 111 W. Columbia Street, can be seen in the background. Original terrazzo floors from 1914 were restored to their former glory after years under carpeting. Custom wood countertops and tables, subtle modern mood lighting, and a prominent industrial-age light fixture over the main bar are juxtaposed against exposed historic brick and large round columns, creating an engaging balance between old and new. The custom light fixture, inspired by historic outdoor markets, shines over an exterior advertisement for New York Salt uncovered during demolition.


The owners of Utopian Coffee + Kitchen and Landing Beer Company had a strong vision for the co-owned spaces. From the beginning of design, Utopian Coffee + Kitchen and Landing Beer Co. were slated for adjacent storefronts on The Landing. The coffee shop and brewery share a kitchen connected by a common service corridor. MKM coordinated closely with food service vendors Zesco Restaurant Supply and Quality Tank Solutions to ensure the space was outfitted for beer brewing and meat smoking.


MKM designed the original white box space prior to tenant selection. The white box design focused on setting the stage for what the space could be while maintaining the historic character of the building. Design strategy included heavy focus on preparing Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing, as well as Structural for a variety of potential tenants.