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City targets Georgia Street for $12.5M makeover

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City planners want to transform a three-block stretch of Georgia Street in downtown Indianapolis into a “pedestrian-friendly” area suited for hosting large groups of visitors to downtown events.

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works announced Tuesday morning plans for the $12.5 million project extending from Capitol Avenue to Pennsylvania Street.

Work is scheduled to begin late this year and would be finished by the 2012 Super Bowl. Georgia Street will continue to serve as a two-way street and will only be closed to traffic for special events.

“The Georgia Street improvements will convert a street which carries very little vehicular traffic into a pedestrian-friendly public space,” Mayor Greg Ballard said in a written statement.

The project will mostly be funded by a federal grant and will include new sidewalks, pavement, lighting and other amenities. In addition, the street will feature electrical, lighting and sound capabilities to accommodate events.

Once finished, the corridor would link the expanded Indiana Convention Center, set to be finished in January, to the west with Conseco Fieldhouse to the east.

“We will have a convention and community event venue that extends beyond the doors of our new Convention Center space for the meeting and entertainment needs of our customers,” said Don Welsh, president and CEO of the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, in a prepared statement.
 

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  • Sidewalks
    I hope for $12 million they can put in some premium side walks on Georgia Street. Most cities have top notch side walks in the heart of their tourism districts.
  • You can't trust these financials
    Mark Miles is throwing money around like he has it to burn. And it isn't pretty; this business of unaccounted for money; of promises broken and sleight of hand accounting. First, Arsenal Tech lost the dome covered NFL football practice field Miles promised the east side when he first pitched the Super Bowl. He wanted that extra money for his Super Bowl Village; and he found millions there. And Ballard is lying through his teeth if he tries to make us believe this $12.5 million dollar Georgia street project is all federal transportation funds. I don't believe it. It simply isn't true. And that isn't an appropriate use for federal transportation funds anyway. Sound systems. Fire pits. Ballard and Miles are reaching into every pocket to try to pump the budget for Super Bowl Village. Follow that money trail, if you can. It doesn't cost $12.5 million for outdoor lighting, some heating stations, and a sound system. This Super Bowl; this is all they care about now. Libraries can close. But the CIB, the convention center and the Super Bowl, particularly the Super Bowl Village, are paramount. Ballard really wants to spend some money here. And budgets are tight. So he's squeezing the slush. And what Ballard wants more than anything is that money from the sale of the water company. Wasn't he pushing yesterday for $140 million more from a bond deal he's trying to push through; advancing money to Ballard to spend now, on "public works", that rate payers will be paying back for 20 years. So we've got the Department of Public Works, right in the middle of it all, aren't they. Hundreds of millions at issue now, what with the water and Super Bowl deals. I don't trust any of it.

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  1. How much you wanna bet, that 70% of the jobs created there (after construction) are minimum wage? And Harvey is correct, the vast majority of residents in this project will drive to their jobs, and to think otherwise, is like Harvey says, a pipe dream. Someone working at a restaurant or retail store will not be able to afford living there. What ever happened to people who wanted to build buildings, paying for it themselves? Not a fan of these tax deals.

  2. Uh, no GeorgeP. The project is supposed to bring on 1,000 jobs and those people along with the people that will be living in the new residential will be driving to their jobs. The walkable stuff is a pipe dream. Besides, walkable is defined as having all daily necessities within 1/2 mile. That's not the case here. Never will be.

  3. Brad is on to something there. The merger of the Formula E and IndyCar Series would give IndyCar access to International markets and Formula E access the Indianapolis 500, not to mention some other events in the USA. Maybe after 2016 but before the new Dallara is rolled out for 2018. This give IndyCar two more seasons to run the DW12 and Formula E to get charged up, pun intended. Then shock the racing world, pun intended, but making the 101st Indianapolis 500 a stellar, groundbreaking event: The first all-electric Indy 500, and use that platform to promote the future of the sport.

  4. No, HarveyF, the exact opposite. Greater density and closeness to retail and everyday necessities reduces traffic. When one has to drive miles for necessities, all those cars are on the roads for many miles. When reasonable density is built, low rise in this case, in the middle of a thriving retail area, one has to drive far less, actually reducing the number of cars on the road.

  5. The Indy Star announced today the appointment of a new Beverage Reporter! So instead of insightful reports on Indy pro sports and Indiana college teams, you now get to read stories about the 432nd new brewery open or some obscure Hoosier winery winning a county fair blue ribbon. Yep, that's the coverage we Star readers crave. Not.

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