Westfield's 'Grand' plans extend downtown, too

May 28, 2013
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Westfield Mayor Andy Cook’s grand plans aren’t limited to the 400-acre sports campus expected to open in the Hamilton County community next year—or the $225 million commercial development slated for across the street. He also is working on a $20 million plan to reshape the city’s downtown.

More than five years in the making, the Grand Junction initiative aims to reinvent the area near Union Street and State Road 32, creating a two-square-block public plaza officials hope will become a hub of activity.

“The boring stuff is under way,” Cook said of the behind-the-scenes work necessary to develop the site where a floodway, two creeks and five recreational trails will come together. The city has spent about $4 million so far, he said, and should be ready to solicit bids early next year.

Property acquisition has begun, and an old muffler shop was torn down to make way for Grand Junction Park & Plaza, which officials hope will spur private development.

Cook isn’t opposed to using public funds to attract investments, but he prefers to spend money on city-owned amenities rather than incentives that benefit private businesses.

He said the tactic already is paying off:  Carmel-based developer J.C. Hart Co. is spending $21 million to build Union Street Flats at Grand Junction, a 238-unit apartment community nearby.

“We’re already seeing a good return on our investment without offering any [tax] abatements,” the mayor said. “I hope we can continue to do that.”

What’s your take on the Grand Junction plans? If Westfield builds a town plaza, will developers come?

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  • I clicked on the link
    Those plans in the link sound...pretty insane. That's the kind of thing I might see working in Noblesville or Carmel or even Fishers but seeing that in Westfield is a bit weird and outta nowhere. I know downtown Westfield could use some more development but it will all be too modernized. I prefer downtowns like Zionsville and Noblesville over downtowns like Carmel anyway.

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

  3. Biggest scam ever!! Took 307 out of my bank ac count. Never received a single call! They prey on new small business and flat out rob them! Do not sign up with these thieves. I filed a complaint with the ftc. I suggest doing the same ic they robbed you too.

  4. Woohoo! We're #200!!! Absolutely disgusting. Bring on the congestion. Indianapolis NEEDS it.

  5. So Westfield invested about $30M in developing Grand Park and attendance to date is good enough that local hotel can't meet the demand. Carmel invested $180M in the Palladium - which generates zero hotel demand for its casino acts. Which Mayor made the better decision?

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