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State gives Speedway $2.9M for blight cleanup

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Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman says the town of Speedway is getting a $2.9 million grant to eliminate blight in its downtown business district.

The grant announced Tuesday comes from the federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program.

Skillman says the grant will pay to demolish old building foundations, deteriorated pavement and concrete slabs in a 40-acre area. It also will pay to remove underground wiring and abandoned electrical materials, hazardous waste, an abandoned pump house and tank, blighted buildings and abandoned railroad materials.

Speedway officials broke ground last November on the first phase of its $500 million "Speed Zone" redevelopment project, which 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.

The Speed Zone plan calls for new roads, parks, retail, restaurants and entertainment attractions to improve 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, Speedway officials say.
 
The improvements to Main Street should be finished by May, in time for the Indianapolis 500’s centennial celebration.

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