Indianapolis Downtown Inc. hopes to gather enough information from its Velocity planning process to make recommendations about the future of downtown by the end of the year.
After kicking off the process April 23, IDI is holding a series of neighborhood roundtable meetings this month to gather public input about downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. The plan is expected to cover a wide range of topics influencing quality oif life, including housing, economic development, transportation, public spaces, and the arts.
The not-for-profit IDI has traditionally concentrated its development, advocacy and promotional activities in and around the core Mile Square area. The Velocity process recognizes that downtown's success is linked to the interests of nearby residents, according to group officials.
“I think of the surrounding neighborhoods as an asset for our future,” IDI President Sherry Seiwert said. “And I think downtown is really the anchor for our future.”
The first neighborhood meeting took place Monday on the near-south side at the Wheeler Arts Community Center. The next meeting, targeted to near-east residents, is slated for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the John H. Boner Community Center, 2236 E. 10th St.
The remaining schedule is as follows: for near-north residents, 6 p.m. Thursday, Harrison Center for the Arts, 1505 N. Delaware St.; for near-west residents, 6:30 p.m. June 18, George Washington High School, 2215 W. Washington St.; and for central downtown residents, 5 p.m. June 20, The Athenaeum, 401 E. Michigan St.
A survey is available at indyvelocity.com to gather input from citizens unable to attend the neighborhood meetings. IDI also has assembled several advisory committees populated by local civic and business leaders to report on elements contributing to downtown's health.
IDI is undertaking Velocity in conjunction with the city of Indianapolis’ regional center planning process. City officials conduct the plan every 20 years and provide an update at the 10-year mark, which is set for next March in the current cycle.
“We’re looking at a five- to seven-year plan,” Seiwert said of Velocity. “With the amount of changes going on downtown, we thought that would be a little more realistic.”
IDI hopes to have a draft of the plan completed within the next three months with a final report to follow by the end of the year.