Westfield's 'Grand' plans extend downtown, too

May 28, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

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?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • 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.

Post a comment to this blog

COMMENTS POLICY
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
ADVERTISEMENT
  1. The $104K to CRC would go toward debts service on $486M of existing debt they already have from other things outside this project. Keystone buys the bonds for 3.8M from CRC, and CRC in turn pays for the parking and site work, and some time later CRC buys them back (with interest) from the projected annual property tax revenue from the entire TIF district (est. $415K / yr. from just this property, plus more from all the other property in the TIF district), which in theory would be about a 10-year term, give-or-take. CRC is basically betting on the future, that property values will increase, driving up the tax revenue to the limit of the annual increase cap on commercial property (I think that's 3%). It should be noted that Keystone can't print money (unlike the Federal Treasury) so commercial property tax can only come from consumers, in this case the apartment renters and consumers of the goods and services offered by the ground floor retailers, and employees in the form of lower non-mandatory compensation items, such as bonuses, benefits, 401K match, etc.

  2. $3B would hurt Lilly's bottom line if there were no insurance or Indemnity Agreement, but there is no way that large an award will be upheld on appeal. What's surprising is that the trial judge refused to reduce it. She must have thought there was evidence of a flagrant, unconscionable coverup and wanted to send a message.

  3. As a self-employed individual, I always saw outrageous price increases every year in a health insurance plan with preexisting condition costs -- something most employed groups never had to worry about. With spouse, I saw ALL Indiana "free market answer" plans' premiums raise 25%-45% each year.

  4. It's not who you chose to build it's how they build it. Architects and engineers decide how and what to use to build. builders just do the work. Architects & engineers still think the tarp over the escalators out at airport will hold for third time when it snows, ice storms.

  5. http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/duke-energy-customers-angry-about-money-for-nothing

ADVERTISEMENT