By Michael Henrich
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 28, 2014) -- The second annual State of Downtown event Tuesday will highlight the successes of downtown Indianapolis and draw a road map for its future.
Mayor Greg Ballard's office will speak first in front of an expected crowd of more than 250 downtown residents, business owners, civic leaders and other stakeholders.
Indianapolis Downtown Inc. President Sherry Seiwert spoke with FOX59 ahead of the event, which is scheduled from 4-6 p.m. at the Union Station Grand Hall.
"Every city in the country is trying to attract young talent, so providing different residential opportunities for that talent is essential," Seiwert said. "We have increased our downtown living by over 5,000 units [and] by the end of 2017, we’ll have added 7,500 new residents to our downtown market."
Many of the new residents are young professionals and Seiwert said planners are looking to build at least one community playground to help entice them to continue to live downtown when they start families.
While new residential and commercial development is a major part of the State of Downtown, Seiwert said safety is also a big factor when it comes to livability.
"One big challenge is the perception that downtown has high crime," she said. "In fact, [downtown has] about 3 percent of all of the crime in Marion County. We have a very safe downtown, certainly compared to other cities our size."