A century-old urban loft in downtown Fort Wayne

In January, Fort Wayne made Better’s international list of the top five places to visit in 2022 like a rising town in the Midwest. So if you’re booking a flight or road trip to Summit City this year, where will you be staying?

While Fort Wayne has plenty of hotels, including a new Downtown boutique hotel, some choose to live more like locals at Airbnbs. Fort Wayne has more than 300 Airbnbs listed online, ranging from high-end carriage houses Downtown for rustic cabins in the woods. We get to know some of the owners and managers behind these spaces and visit their Airbnbs for design inspiration.

This week, we meet owner and property manager/designer duo, Alex Haggard of ASWE Investments Inc. and Katrina Nichols, who both live and work in Fort Wayne. They tell us about their Airbnb, a centenary urban loft getaway at 1126 Fairfield Ave.—just steps from all the action at Parkview Landthe Embassy Theaterand more.

Alex Haggard, owner, and Katrina Nichols, property manager on the top floor of their Airbnb on Fairfield Avenue in downtown Fort Wayne.

IFW: Tell us a bit about yourself.

KN: I’ve lived in Fort Wayne all my life. I have a background in interior design (diploma from Purdue Fort Wayne). I am an investor and owner of rental properties. I also stage homes and can set up an Airbnb. I also do property management and am a real estate agent for Keller Williams.

I love all aspects of home design and real estate. I have three children and my husband is an entrepreneur. We have done several flip houses over the past decade. He and I did the staging and design work for this property.

Oh: Born and raised in Fort Wayne, I graduated from North Side High School. I have always had a passion for real estate and purchased my first rehab in 2002. I currently own several commercial properties in and around Fort Wayne. I currently own and operate FAK Logistics Inc. located in downtown Fort Wayne. In addition to real estate and logistics, I also invest in small businesses primarily in Indiana.

The lounge area features local artwork by Jill Weikart.

IFW: Tell us a bit about your Airbnb at 1126 Fairfield Ave.

KN: This is a 2 bedroom, 1.5 bath loft style condo that is over 100 years old and approximately 1000 square feet in total. The house has a separate top floor and ground floor rental, each with its own back space with stunning downtown views. The lower and upper floors have kitchens with modern appliances.

Our Airbnb is very close to the Embassy Theater and Great Wayne Center. This is a great location for people traveling to Fort Wayne for work. We receive many families who come for weddings. Weekend getaways are also popular due to downtown nightlife now. It also doesn’t hurt that Starbucks and McDonald’s are also 50 feet away.

The kitchen on the top floor.

IFW: How would you describe the design style?

KN: Modern and contemporary with a bohemian touch.

The rear bedroom on the ground floor.

IFW: How much did you have to renovate to achieve your ideal look?

Oh: We spent $195,000 on the renovation and it took almost two years to complete.

Bunk beds in one of the bedrooms on the ground floor.

IFW: What is your favorite room/space? Tell us about it.

KN: The bedroom on the first floor and the kitchens in the attic.

Oh: I really like all the rooms that display the original brick walls.

The stairs leading up to the attic on the top floor.

IFW: In addition to your space, do you offer other advantages to the customers of your establishment?

KN: There is an online guide with suggested things to do downtown.

The kitchen area on the ground floor.

IFW: What are guests saying about their stay at your property? Any recurring comments/things they appreciate?

KN: Many of them comment on the unique style. They love the location and that it’s very clean and modern.

The kitchen area on the ground floor.

IFW: What do you think makes your property special, compared to others on Airbnb?

KN: The design style is unique and dramatic with the loft and brick walls.

The lounge area on the ground floor.

What do you think makes Fort Wayne a great place to live and visit?

KN: It’s very family friendly and I really like all the new construction downtown. Home values ​​are still very affordable compared to other parts of the country.

Oh: Fort Wayne is a wonderful place to raise a family. Good schools, great people and lots to do.

The lounge area on the ground floor.

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