City OKs $10M in street upgrades for natatorium plan

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Commission on Wednesday approved $10 million in downtown tax-increment financing funds to pay for street improvements on the IUPUI campus.

The contribution of city money works in conjunction with IUPUI’s $20 million overhaul of the Indiana University Natatorium.

Michigan and New York streets will be converted into two-way streets from West Street through the campus and across the bridge into the Haughville neighborhood just west of the campus, with completion slated for 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard announced last month that IUPUI and Lilly Endowment would both contribute $10 million to renovate the facility to prepare it for the 2016 Olympic diving trials.

The $10 million in TIF funds would only be used for infrastructure needs and not for the natatorium, said Adam Thies, the Department of Metropolitan Development director.

Those streets, as well as West Street between Michigan and New York, will be improved to include "safer pedestrian crossings and sidewalks, bike lanes, specialized lighting, decorative signage, public art, grass medians, trees and rain gardens," the city said.

The funding received only one no vote, from Adam Kirsch, a Democrat appointed by the City-County Council. No objections came from the public at the Wednesday meeting.

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