INDIANAPOLIS — The morning news conference was a victory lap of sorts for Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.
The event held at P30, a converted warehouse transformed into office and manufacturing space, was to tout the city’s 2022 economic development achievements.
“It has been a historic year,” said Hogsett.
And the Indy Mayor has a running start on a featured project for next year.
On Monday, the City-County Council gave its okay to a request for $15.5-million dollars to expedite the redevelopment of the old Marion County Jail-II in the Cole-Noble neighborhood. Once the Justice Campus opened this year, the site was no longer needed and was emptied.
1820 Ventures was named the project developer back in August, with a mixed-use plan in mind for the site. It includes a second venue for Broad Ripple’s Vogue Theatre, mixed retail space and 100 apartments.
Four blocks away on East Market Street, the firm is working on a 103-unit apartment building. Expanding housing and the amenities urban dwellers want is the Hogsett administration’s blueprint for this neighborhood.
The hope is that someday the East Market Street area just outside of downtown will become as popular and active as Massachusetts Avenue is today. The street is lined with shops, restaurants, and lots of housing. But it wasn’t always so.
“A few decades ago there really wasn’t a lot going on. It was quite vacant and under-utilized and run-down from its original glory and development,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Scarlett Andrews.
She adds, “In a similar vein, I think Market Street has a real opportunity to become better connected.”
Andrews says there are real opportunities in the neighborhood including parking lots and vacant buildings that could become redevelopment targets for both publicly backed and private developers.
The expectation is the work of transforming the old jail will begin next year, but no start date has been announced.