Indy’s director of development leaving for IU gig

Adam Thies, director of the Indianapolis Department of Metropolitan Development, is leaving the post to take a position at Indiana University.

IU announced Monday morning that Thies has been named assistant vice president for capital planning and facilities. Thies starts his new job Aug. 17. His last day at the city will be July 24.

Thies has served as DMD director since October 2012. At IU, he will lead facilities planning and management efforts, with a focus on university master planning, site planning and campus development.

“Adam Thies is a highly regarded urban planner with deep and varied experience in both the private and public sectors,” said Thomas Morrison, IU’s vice president for capital planning and facilities, in a prepared statement. “I’m very pleased that he has agreed to join our team at Indiana University, where his skills and background will prove invaluable in the planning and completion of capital initiatives related to the Bicentennial Strategic Plan.”

Before arriving at the city, Thies served as president of Eden Collaborative, a planning and design consultancy that he founded in 2005. Eden led the Indianapolis Super Bowl 2012 Legacy Neighborhood Project, the redesign of Monument Circle and the creation of a plan for midtown Indianapolis.

Thies previously served as a faculty member in the College of Architecture and Planning at Ball State University. From 2000 to 2003, he was a project manager at the Chicago office of the Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP architecture and engineering firm.

“Becoming a part of the Indiana University family and working with one of the world’s great research institutions is an honor beyond words,” Thies said in prepared remarks. “I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to assist IU in achieving its mission and building for an incredibly dynamic future.”

At the city, Thies oversees and administers the divisions of planning and zoning, community economic development and historic preservation, as well as the Metropolitan Planning Organization. One of his biggest goals was to transform vacant or idled city-owned properties into tax-generating developments.

City officials will work with Thies to name a replacement who can lead the department through the end of Mayor Greg Ballard's term in January, according to a city spokeswoman.

“Adam’s creativity, bold vision and keen understanding of the ways city planning can have a positive impact on quality of life have served Indianapolis well," Ballard said in a prepared statement. "I am delighted that my alma mater will now have the benefit of Adam’s expertise, and I wish him the best in this new role.”

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