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Speedway breaks ground on redevelopment project

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Speedway officials broke ground Thursday morning on the first phase of a $500 million redevelopment project they hope will transform the small town into a year-round racing-themed destination.

Initial work involves $6.7 million in road improvements to Main Street that should be finished by May 2011, laying the foundation for redevelopment to follow.

Though completion is roughly 18 months away, the project is generating interest from dozens of prospects who could locate along the aging thoroughfare plagued by vacant buildings and deteriorating façades. 

Indianapolis-based Mansur Real Estate Services and Greenstreet Ltd., the master developers in charge of identifying tenants, said they’ve fielded calls from about 40 businesses, including restaurants, retailers, and motorsports companies.

“I think people get it,” Mansur President Chuck Caagan said. “They understand how this type of program could be a major draw.”
 
Dubbed the “Speed Zone,” the entire plan calls for new roads, parks, retail, restaurants and entertainment attractions to spruce up the Main Street business district and surrounding neighborhoods.

The ambitious redevelopment includes more than 350 acres from Main Street to Holt Road and from 16th to 10th streets, just south of Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  

In all, 2.5 million square feet of new development could be constructed, which could return a 10-year economic impact of up to $5.2 billion and more than 2,000 jobs, officials say.

Work on the project began in July 2005, when town officials created the Speedway Redevelopment Commission to begin drafting a master plan for the redevelopment.

Scott Harris, executive director of the commission, is confident the redevelopment will come together as planned.

“It’s obviously picked up a lot of momentum, because we’re actually doing something,” he said. “It’s going to recreate what was a very historic Main Street.”

In the 1950s and '60s, the seven-block Main Street served as the vibrant center of town, with a grocery store, two barbershops, a pharmacy and a cinema. But as factory work shifted and new shopping centers opened across town, Main Street suffered.

The Speed Zone project calls for widening Main Street, building an interactive “racing wall of fame” in front of the Praxair Surface Technologies plant that lines the east side of the thoroughfare, and adding mixed-use retail and condominium space on both sides of the street.

Area manufacturers such as Praxair and Allison Transmission employ about 3,500, which makes the area attractive to retailers as well, said Jeff Kingsbury, managing principal of the Greenstreet real estate development firm.

“Given the state of the economy and the overall real estate market, I think the level of interest we’ve had so far is really encouraging,” he said. “But I think it also points to the fact that we’ve got some exceptional assets to build upon.”

As part of the project, Allison and the Speedway Redevelopment Commission are seeking the closure of a 1,354-foot section of Grand Avenue, just south of West 10th Street.

Another part of the 10-year project includes rerouting 16th Street south, away from the track to create a pedestrian zone near the racetrack.

Planners also want to close Georgetown Road south of 25th Street to create a park and pedestrian promenade beside the track. Traffic would be diverted to Lynhurst Drive.

Two multi-lane roundabouts are planned—one at the junction of Crawfordsville Road, 16th Street and Main Street, and one where an extended Holt Road would cross the new 16th Street.

The town will pay for the proposed infrastructure changes and the Main Street façade and streetscape enhancements through a series of bonds paid off by revenue from the town’s 350-acre tax increment financing district. The rest of the funding will come from public-private sources, planners said.

The improvements to Main Street should be finished by May 2011, in time for the Indianapolis 500’s centennial celebration.
  
Whitestown-based Calumet Civil Contractors Inc. is the contractor for the Main Street road improvements.

 

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  1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

  2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

  3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

  4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

  5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

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