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Cory
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The Post-Bulletin
http://www.postbulletin.com/newsmanager/templates/localnews_story.asp?a=295460&z=21

Indianapolis is Model for Downtown Renovation

INDIANAPOLIS -- It's hard to find a city of close to a million population where its core area is being revitalized as much as Indianapolis.

As a result, many cities across the country are looking to Indianapolis as a downtown renewal model.

It's easy to see why. In the past 15 years, Indianapolis has invested more than $6 billion of public and private funds in a host of downtown projects. More development is on the way -- again through public and private partnerships -- since an additional $3.2 billion in construction and renovation efforts are on the drawing board.

By the time these projects are completed in 2110, the cumulative downtown investments spanning 20 years should surpass the $9 billion mark. These investments have involved a host of wide-ranging projects -- the likes of new shopping, restaurant, cultural and entertainment facilities, new and extensive business locations and relocations, high-end hotel projects, classic sporting venues, plus all-important living units. There's also a downtown convention center that's expanding to meet a growing need.

All of these elements bring new and more people downtown. The city's downtown development association estimates that annual attendance at downtown leisure attractions has increased by a whopping 289 percent in the past 13 years to 17.2 million visits.

The National League of Cities' publication, Nation's Cities Weekly, describes Indianapolis as "a growth dynamo, setting standards of excellence for urban renewal and economic development."

The NLC held its annual conference in Indianapolis in 2004, and its current president is Bart Peterson, mayor of the city since 1999, whom many point to as one of the key leaders in downtown efforts. His Peterson Plan has fostered job growth and improvements to the economy.

One of the main reasons for the city's downtown growth is its rating as the third most cost-effective city in the nation for business development. The study by KPMG group measured 27 factors including labor, transportation, utility costs and income taxes.

There have been many prime initiatives in Indianapolis' downtown development, including its noted BioCrossroads project. Government, business and education leaders launched this project in early 2002 to develop the region as a world-class life sciences center.

With the giant Eli Lilly pharmaceutical company a leading player in the project along with universities, and financial grants from the Indiana Department of Commerce, there are strong incentives for businesses to launch ground-breaking research facilities downtown.

In addition to new business opportunities, downtown is in the midst of record residential development. Some 1,500 residential units -- condos, houses and apartments -- totaling nearly $348 million will be completed by 2010.

In just the past few years, the inventory of hotel rooms has increased 44 percent to a total of 5,338 rooms. There have been several hotels built in the past few years -- including the luxury Conrad Indianapolis -- while many existing hotels and motels have completed renovations.

The retail industry downtown continues to be strong, too, say civic and political leaders. Circle Center -- a $320 million shopping and entertainment center -- and its powerhouse Nordstrom and Carson Pirie Scott stores have been joined by a large TJ Maxx property. And restaurants continue to proliferate -- 150 new eateries have opened in the past 12 years.

Cultural development continues downtown, too. There's something different on the horizon to spark more interest. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail, a 7.5-mile path that will be the downtown hub for the city's greenway trail system and an icon for urban development, should be completed by 2009.
 

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It is nice to get a fresh outsiders' perspective on Indianapolis. If you read the IndyStar forums, you would think Indy was the Seventh Circle of hell and bart Peterson was Satan.:bash:
 

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I was in Indy this weekend and I thought downtown was wonderful. Full of everyday amenities, dinin, nightlife, shopping, etc. It seemed as if everything was planned perfectly. One of the best downtowns in the midwest.
 

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Cory
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It is nice to get a fresh outsiders' perspective on Indianapolis. If you read the IndyStar forums, you would think Indy was the Seventh Circle of hell and bart Peterson was Satan.:bash:
true dat!! They do paint a doom and gloom picture that would make one believe that the glass ceiling had just shattered!
 

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The thing I think is particularly nice about downtown Indy is that there are two main activity hubs: Circle Centre and Mass Ave. (You could even call WRSP a third). Both of these are packed during prime time play hours. The Circle Centre area is a typical convention/tourist locale, while Mass Ave has the local flavor.
 

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The thing I think is particularly nice about downtown Indy is that there are two main activity hubs: Circle Centre and Mass Ave. (You could even call WRSP a third). Both of these are packed during prime time play hours. The Circle Centre area is a typical convention/tourist locale, while Mass Ave has the local flavor.
thats what i love about mass ave, it has Indianapolis culture, architecture, heritage, local shops, restruants, life! Ah, its a must go for all Indy tourists. :)
 
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