City leaders highlight ‘transformation’ of downtown Indianapolis

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Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard addresses audience members at the annual State of Downtown Indianapolis presentation.

By Zach Myers

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (October 28, 2014)–  Promoters of the downtown Indianapolis area delivered their annual State of Downtown presentation Tuesday.

About 250 public and business leaders, residents and stakeholders gathered at the Crowne Plaza Grand Hall at at Union Station to talk about the achievements and future challenges in the downtown area.

“I never tire of people raving about Indianapolis,” Mayor Greg Ballard told the audience. “Particularly those who come for the first time. The common refrain is always I never knew. I didn’t know all this was here.”

The presentation focused on what downtown leaders call the “transformation” of the downtown Indianapolis area. Downtown Indy, the non-profit organization dedicated to promoting downtown, touched on recent efforts to expand on downtown business, sporting events and other attractions.

“Now we’re seeing an ever increasing residential base that is moving into downtown,” said Bob Schultz, VP of Marketing and Communication for Downtown Indy. “Shifting the dynamics of our community to a very balanced approach to a downtown environment.”

Data shared by Downtown Indy showed more than 3,100 apartment units have been added to downtown in the last five years. That represents an 87 percent increase and a $400 million investment. In addition, about 3,600 new units are slated to be added by the end of 2017.

Schultz said current and future construction and development will continue to turn downtown in a place where more people live.

“And 38 percent of the people who are moving downtown are doing so from outside the state of Indiana,” Schultz said. “So that’s not only new money for Marion County, it’s new money to Indiana.”

Downtown Indy also launched their new mobile-friendly website; http://www.downtownindy.org

The site serves as a portal for exploring downtown events and attractions, as well as tracking the 40 development projects currently in the works. Developments include the 28-story Market Square Tower, the YMCA at CityWay, Lilly expansions, Indygo’s Downtown Transit Center and more.

Downtown Indy also announced plans for a new residential membership program called Dwell Downtown. It will allow downtown residents to find discounts, deals and last-minute tickets to events and businesses.

The event also included the presentation of the 2nd annual Downtown Indy Champion’s Award. The award went to Brian Payne, president and CEO of the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Payne was recognized for his work on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick.