Fishers seeking to reinvent itself with redevelopment

September 23, 2013
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Fast-growing Fishers is embarking on an ambitious redevelopment plan leaders hope will create a vibrant, walkable downtown.

Site work on the first phase, a $42 million residential and retail development dubbed The Depot at Nickel Plate, has begun—the groundbreaking ceremony is set for Oct. 10—and officials are toiling behind the scenes on part two: a mixed-use replacement for the Fishers Train Station. (Read my full story from this week’s IBJ here.)

But there’s more to transforming Fishers than bricks and mortar. It’s just as important for the soon-to-be-city to fill the new buildings with the businesses and residents who bring a community to life.

Fishers’ strategy is to focus on building an environment attracts entrepreneurs, starting with town-backed Launch Fishers, a 13,000-square-foot coworking space located in the municipal complex. In less than a year of operation, the operation has attracted 275 members representing 75 companies—many of them startups.

Now Launch’s first members are “graduating” to more traditional digs, and the Fishers Redevelopment Commission is poised to help.

If a pair of economic development deals are approved by Town Council, mobile app developer Bluebridge Digital would pay a reduced rate to sublease offices from BLASTmedia, and the digital marketing firm would put up with tight quarters for a couple years before moving to an office building planned for the train station site.

The agreements would keep two high-potential businesses in Fishers, and economic development officials say they’re talking with other companies interested in planting their roots north of 96th Street.

Insiders also are working on plans for what’s informally being called “Launch 2.0,” an effort to develop office space for Launch Fishers members who have outgrown coworking but aren’t ready for a long-term lease.

What’s your take on Fishers’ redevelopment strategy? If officials build the downtown of their dreams, will businesses come?


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  1. From the story: "The city of Indianapolis also will consider tax incentives and funding for infrastructure required for the project, according to IEDC." Why would the City need to consider additional tax incentives when Lowe's has already bought the land and reached an agreement with IEDC to bring the jobs? What that tells me is that the City has already pledged the incentives, unofficially, and they just haven't had time to push it through the MDC yet. Either way, subsidizing $10/hour jobs is going to do nothing toward furthering the Mayor's stated goal of attracting middle and upper-middle class residents to Marion County.

  2. Ron Spencer and the entire staff of Theater on the Square embraced IndyFringe when it came to Mass Ave in 2005. TOTS was not only a venue but Ron and his friends created, presented and appeared in shows which embraced the 'spirit of the fringe'. He's weathered all the storms and kept smiling ... bon voyage and thank you.

  3. Not sure how many sushi restaurants are enough, but there are three that I know of in various parts of downtown proper and all are pretty good.

  4. First off, it's "moron," not "moran." 2nd, YOU don't get to vote on someone else's rights and freedoms that are guaranteed by the US Constitution. That's why this is not a state's rights issue...putting something like this to vote by, well, people like you who are quite clearly intellectually challenged isn't necessary since the 14th amendment has already decided the issue. Which is why Indiana's effort is a wasted one and a waste of money...and will be overturned just like this has in every other state.

  5. Rick, how does granting theright to marry to people choosing to marry same-sex partners harm the lives of those who choose not to? I cannot for the life of me see any harm to people who choose not to marry someone of the same sex. We understand your choice to take the parts of the bible literally in your life. That is fine but why force your religious beliefs on others? I'm hoping the judges do the right thing and declare the ban unconstitutional so all citizens of Wisconsin and Indiana have the same marriage rights and that those who chose someone of the same sex do not have less rights than others.