Market Square skyscraper: The latest in downtown development frenzy

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 18, 2015) - Wednesday marked the beginning of what city officials are calling a new era in downtown Indianapolis. Land where the Market Square Arena once was has been vacant for more than a decade. That all changed on Wednesday.

But in somewhat of a renaissance, ground was broken there to mark the latest project in a city captivated by downtown development.

“My kids friends are telling them, this is the place to be now, they’re all moving back now… they moved to Chicago, someplace else, but now they’re all moving back to Indianapolis because this is the place they want to be now,” said Indianapolis Mayor, Greg Ballard.

Wednesday Ballard showcased the site, soon to be home to Indy’s newest skyline addition, a 28 story apartment complex.

“Having this building go up here is tremendous because Market Square was difficult to figure out for almost 15 years now,” he said.

The site sat vacant for years, after the Pacers’ old palace, Market Square Arena was destroyed.

“There’s new projects in our office we want to get behind and continue that momentum in downtown, whether it’s a new stadium, a new development with condo-- more hotels, more restaurants. Everyday there’s some new projects being talked about,” said Catherine Esselman, the Real Estate Development Director for Downtown Indy.

The Market Square site, complete with a whole foods market, and retail shopping space is just the latest in what has been a downtown consumed with construction.

“There has been a development boom happening in downtown Indianapolis and the momentum is not letting up,” said Esselman.

According to Downtown Indy officials, in the last five years, more than 31,000 apartment units have come downtown. That’s an 87% growth in population that has totaled $400 million dollars in downtown investments.

“We’re anticipating 30,000 residents being; calling downtown Indianapolis their home by the end of the decade,” said Esselman.

“This whole area, in two years, will be completely different than it is right now,” said Ballard.

The Cummins Company is building a campus right next door to the new Market Square apartments. The company is investing more than $30 million dollars in their development.  Construction is set to begin in the spring.