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City to roll out plan for 16th Street tech corridor

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The city of Indianapolis plans to announce a major initiative to turn a stretch of 16th Street northwest of downtown into a hub for biotechnology and other high-tech companies.

Develop Indy, an economic development group that receives public and private funding, sent media outlets an invitation to an announcement at Bush Stadium on Thursday.

Officials from that group would not comment on specifics of the announcement.

City leaders have discussed converting the 15-acre Bush Stadium site, wedged between 16th Street and the White River near Harding Street, into apartments as a component of the broader redevelopment initiative, dubbed 16 Downtown Technology District.

Nancy Langdon, Develop Indy’s executive project director for the initiative, and Brad Hurt, a Crawfordsville-based economic development consultant, discussed some of its details last year in a committee meeting of the City-County Council. At the time, they told the committee plans were to begin construction this summer.

According to meeting minutes, the initiative calls for transforming the area surrounding Bush Stadium and north of the IUPUI campus into a work, live and play district that includes housing and other amenities. The goal in doing that is to attract research firms, contract-services suppliers and technology companies to that section of town.

Plans for a technology corridor in that part of the city have been in the works since Mayor Bart Peterson’s administration. In 2003, the city and two economic-development groups commissioned New York-based architects to create a “Framework for a Research Community” for the area.

Mayor Greg Ballard formed a task force in November 2009 to study the area, and it made recommendations to the Metropolitan Development Commission last summer.

Also last summer, the council set aside $3.6 million in the Department of Metropolitan Development’s budget toward the redevelopment. That includes efforts such as streetscape planning, site development and environmental services, according to the task force recommendations.

Langdon told the council committee last summer that Bush Stadium’s façade would be preserved and it would be converted into apartments, with Indianapolis developer and preservationist John Watson taking the lead.
 

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  • It Lives!
    Shades of "MedCity" from...let me think, was it 1997? 98? It just won't go away, will it? Or is this the Marshfield plan? Or the GS Hi-Tech Task Force Plan? Or the Beyer-Blinder-Bell Plan? Or the - nevermind, there's too many more to add. Good luck!
  • Work, play, but not live, sorry
    I love the idea of more biotech firms. I work at a startup medical device firm located at College and Fletcher now. But I and the other professionals live outside IPS. I mean no offense, but where I work isn't where I live. We are also advanced enough that a grad right out of IUPUI, doesn't have the experience we require.

    Good luck. I'm sure more biotech areas will thrive as well as all the others.
  • Change in Area
    Riverside:
    I drive the area regularly (every 2 weeks or so) as I have clients in that area, so I am familiar with the look, feel, and redevelopment. By economic definition, of course the markets will rent at market rate--market rate is what puts supply and demand in equilibrium. The problem is the quantity demanded in that area is very low for a rate that will provide an ROI--the rate will not be close to downtown (like the canal area). And, if the city is ponying up more of our tax money to subsidize the development, then in essence it is subsidized because the developer does not need the same ROI to offset his capital investment--his capital outlay is less so rent can be less to provide his required rate of return. However, it has nothing to do with the developer, it has to do with the residents and neighborhood, and who from the city will frequent the area after development. I agree being close to IUPUI is a good thing, but again, students are not in a position to pay top rental money.
  • Great Momentum
    No offense educated worker, but the developer has a long and positive redevelopment track record. The apartments will not be subsidized and will be at/near market rate. The area has also changed somewhat since you were last here and there is some significant momentum towards new business's moving in and new development. The area also has great access to Interstate 65 and the downtown area, not to mention IUPUI, Marian University (adding new med school), Ivy Tech, Methodist Hospital, and many other employment and research facilities that are already in place in/near downtown.
    • Good Idea But
      I am all for redeveloping the area and since I worked there for 15 years and owned a building there for several years, I know the area very well. However, building apartments..for whom? Who in that area is going to rent a new apartment at any kind of market rate to provide a return to the developer? And if you are talking about subsidized apartments, then you are just creating the same problem of a few blocks to the southeast. Who that is not there will move there? Right now you would need 24 hour inside locked parking to put any vehicle of any worth in that area--there is no way I would park any of my vehicles outside overnight in that area, even inside a locked gate. Like it or not, it's a fact. And "research firms" to that area? Someone is completely out of touch. If you want to attract research firms, do you really want to go up against Intech Park which has an immeasurably better appearance, reputable high tech tenants, and significantly improved security? How about recognizing the area for what it is and building on that--it's an area for light industrial manufacturing that needs outstanding interstate access (four exits within 2 miles to go any direction) with free parking and low to medium skilled labor within the bus route or 1-2 miles. Downtown needs jobs for the people that live there, and this is an area that could provide that. Let's spend the money in a way that has a reasonable chance of a positive ROI.
    • good idea
      Oh good grief. The line at Longs is gonna get longer! :)

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