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Competition seeks ideas for Monument Circle

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A competition that could influence the future look and use of Monument Circle was unveiled Wednesday morning by a partnership that includes the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana.

The Monument Circle Idea Competition is expected to generate ideas regarding the “future design as well as ideas about programming, land use and activities” in the four-block area in the center of Indianapolis.

The competition is open to “all interested entrants” who pay the $30 entry fee. A panel of judges will award a first prize of $5,000, second prize of $2,000 and third prize of $1,000 to the winning entries. Entries will be accepted through April 15. Organizers say they encourage entries from individuals, teams, professionals, students and artists.

The top submissions will be displayed in an exhibit on Monument Circle from June 17-26. A “People’s Choice” award of $1,000 will be made at the conclusion of the exhibition. Prize money will be raised through private donations.

Organizers say the “open ideas” competition was sparked when Indianapolis hosted the CEOs for Cities Livability Challenge last October.

“The visiting national experts echoed what so many local leaders have expressed … Monument Circle is extraordinary and merits maximum attention, creativity and vision," said Brian Payne, president of Central Indiana Community Foundation, in a prepared statement. “These experts challenged Indianapolis to host the Monument Circle Idea Competition.”

A similar competition in 2008 raised ideas for the Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn, N.Y.

CICF is a co-partner of the competition, along with Indianapolis Downtown Inc., which will oversee the project.

Ideas generated by the contest may be considered by planners already working on the future of the Circle. The Indianapolis Department of Public Works has retained the team of local design firms Woolpert Inc., Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Architects Inc. and Eden Collaborative to conduct a “scoping study” that will “prepare and maximize Monument Circle for the next 20-30 years.”

The state owns and manages the Indiana Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the centerpiece of Monument Circle, but the city owns and is responsible for the streets, sidewalks and alleys surrounding the monument.

City and state leaders have long discussed different ways to best use the iconic, but often under-utilized, area. A controversial plan proposed in 2008 that would have closed the Circle to vehicle traffic drew heavy criticism.

More information is available on the competition's website. Entering the competition is a fairly involved process. Organizers say they will also welcome suggestions from people who aren't interesting in entering the formal competition.
 

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  • Professionals
    Joyce is forgetting that the people who will be looking at these proposals are professionals who are taught how to evaluate the costs and benefits of traffic vs no traffic and apparently they have found it not to be efficient except during holidays/ large events. This is a competition used to brew up ideas. Even the winner will likely not be completed, but it is the ideas that come up that are important.
  • Easy
    Ballard has already submitted his winning proposal. He is going to sell it to a Texas company who will charge $1.00 per vehicle to enter the circle, with a guarantee profit of $1 million per year. Of course the city will get 10 cents of every dollar and Ballard will tell everyone how he has not raised taxes and has generated money for the city. But then Mitch will be in the race as he has some foreign companies willing to buy the circle and we know the state needs the money and so does Daniels as he is ready to accept money from special interest goups for a run for the white house - which will be next on Daniel's list to sell to some foreign company.
  • Giggle
    Okay, I was going to play the "typical Hoosier" role, but Joyce beat me to it. I'll just add "I never go to the Circle, so this better not use my tax money" and "this is a big government plot make me quit eating fast food and/or smoking, I just know it." Too fun.
  • Ideas Aplenty
    I, for one, will be submitting a proposal. I like competitions like this (though I am not an architect or designer by trade) because they encourage a sort of crowd-sourcing with respect to urban planning. I guarantee that a 10-yearold can come up with ideas that a 50-year old urban planner never could. I look forward to seeing what the visionaries of Indianapolis can put forward.
  • Discouraging???
    How in the world would $30.00 discourage anybody? If they wanted to discourage people, they could have charge $3,000.00 to submit ideas. $30.00 won't discourage anyone.
  • The Circle
    We all know where this is going. The city wants to close the Circle to vehicular traffic, even though none of the businesses on the Circle and most of the citizens of Indianapolis are against it. So they want opinions, but only from people who have $30.00 to ante up. Why have a fee to contribute ideas? To discourage people from submitting ideas, of course. Then they can do what they want to do anyway. DO NOT close the Circle to cars. Oh, do I owe $30.00?

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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