4A: Support a Strong and Diverse Downtown Economy
Support efforts that maintain downtown’s preeminence as a place to do business through the encouragement of new high-quality amenities as well as the maintenance of assets already built. Development of local and regional land use and transportation policies that encourage density are encouraged to accommodate evolving economic, technologic, and real estate preferences and keep downtown dynamic and economically relevant. We must also keep in mind the balance between taxable and non-taxable property downtown, which is home to significant regional-serving amenities that are tax-exempt like hospitals, universities, and museums. While these amenities contribute significantly to regional quality of life, the infrastructure they depend on must be supported by local private economic activity.
Value to the CommunityDowntown is a source of the community’s identity while also serving as the economic engine of Central Indiana. Even though most do not work and only a fraction of residents live in downtown, it has an outsized impact on the economic health of Indy. And while a neighborhood of its own, it's also a neighborhood that belongs to everyone, with a disproportionate number of residents using its government services, healthcare facilities, transportation facilities, cultural and sports amenities, and public spaces.
Value to the Hospitality IndustryA healthy downtown economy is necessary to sustain the collection of visitor and cultural amenities it is home to. While tourism depends on the vibrancy of restaurants, retail, and cultural offerings downtown to attract visitors, it is local residents, particularly the daytime office workforce, that keeps those things viable. Without downtown workers and residents we cannot have vibrancy for visitors.
- November 2023. New Downtown Economic Enhancement District. This new district was enacted downtown that requires property owners to pay a fee based on their assess property value. This fee is to be used to address public safety, homelessness, and beautification efforts and is estimated to generate $5.5 million a year.
- January 2023. IU Health Hospital Campus Expands. IU Health's new downtown hospital, now under construction, has grown in investment from $1.6b to $4.3b as the number of beds in its three 16-story towers has grown from 672 to 864.
- August 2022. Cole Motor Redevelopment Announced. A $120m redevelopment of the former Jail 2 and Arrestee Processing Center plans to turn the historic Cole Motor Car Company into a mix of apartments, child care center, co-working space, and a new 60,000 square foot concert and event venue.
- June 2022. City Market Redevelopment Moves Forward. A redevelopment team has been selected to transform the City Market block with $175m of investment. The iconic "Gold Building" and adjacent parking garage and office building will be redeveloped, while a new 11-story tower will be built on the site of City Market's dated east wing. In total more than 400 apartments, office and retail, and pedestrian-friendly alley will be built.
- April 2022. Elanco Groundbreaking. Elanco broke ground on its new 40 acre global headquarters, releasing updated plans and images for its campus, which will include a new multimodal Henry Street bridge over White River.
- March 2022. Bottleworks Phase 2 Under Construction. The successful Bottleworks redevelopment on Mass Ave started construction on its $100m second phase, including two new office and retail buildings totaling 182,000 square feet in office and 38,000 in ground floor retail space.