Cross-country track planned near proposed tennis center site

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Thirty-five acres west of downtown Indianapolis near the White River that is set to be rezoned to provide for a cross-country track is near city-owned property that could house a downtown tennis center.

IndyParks is set to present its rezoning request at 1 p.m. Thursday to the Department of Metropolitan Development’s Division of Planning. The proposal is expected to advance to the Metropolitan Development Commission for final approval.

The rezoning to PK-1, or park district, would affect property along the south bank of Fall Creek and the east bank of White River, from Indiana Avenue south to the National Institute for Fitness and Sport facility on University Boulevard.

The grass surface would remain relatively untouched and could host cross-country meets ranging from the middle-school to Olympic-trial level coordinated by the Indiana Invaders post-collegiate running program.

“This will be an internationally rated cross-country course,” said Paul F. Smith, real estate manager for the city of Indianapolis. “It’s a great surface for runners.”

Just to the north, a parcel east of Fall Creek Parkway and 16th Street Park is one of three properties targeted by a local not-for-profit for a tennis center.

Save Downtown Tennis formed in July 2010, about a month before the Indianapolis Tennis Center was demolished to make way for an expanded parking and some green space on the IUPUI campus.

The tennis center was built on the west side of downtown for $7 million. It opened in 1979 and was a regular stop on the professional tennis circuit for 30 years until organizers announced after the 2009 event that the Indianapolis Tennis Championships were moving to Atlanta.

In a late February report, Save Downtown Tennis proposed three locations where a new tennis center could be built. Besides Fall Creek Parkway and 16th Street, the group also is eying the former Central State Hospital site on West Washington Street and a parcel at 26th Street near the Monon Trail.

The three properties are owned by the city, meaning any project would be a public-private partnership.

Save Downtown Tennis is hopeful a deal can be struck, though discussions between the two are still in the early stages, said Mark Shublak, committee president and a partner at Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller LLP.

“Since the report was released, we have been gratified to receive a lot of interest,” he said. “It seems to me the viability of this project is very, very high, and I feel optimistic about its prospects.”

The center would include indoor and outdoor courts and is estimated to cost about $3.5 million, according to the report. A capital campaign has not begun to raise funds to build the center, Shublak said.

“We are having good discussions with the city about the project,” he said. “More than that, it would be premature to say.”

Calls to the mayor’s office were not returned.

Meanwhile, Greg Harger, founder and director of the Indiana Invaders, already has nine middle school and high school cross-country meets lined up for the proposed track this fall. He said the list could grow to 20.

“There’s nothing else you can do with this property,” he said. “It can’t be developed; it’s in a floodplain. It’s truly unique and a pretty special place for a metro area.”



Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

  2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

  3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

  4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

  5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...