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EDITORIAL: South-side project good for region

November 7, 2015

Gershman Partners’ recent announcement that it will develop a $90 million, 700,000-square-foot retail center in Greenwood is good news not just for Johnson County, but for the broader Indianapolis area as well. The fact that the largest shopping development in the metro area in years will open south of Indianapolis, not north of it, bodes well for the region’s economic health.

The patience of Greenwood officials to find the best use for the high-profile intersection at Interstate 65 and County Line Road shows an economic-development mind-set that’s bringing renewed prosperity to the county.

Johnson County over the decades chose to hold tightly to a small-town, rural feel while other ring counties—particularly Hamilton—chased upscale businesses and white-collar residents. The difference in strategy took a toll: Johnson County’s population grew 140 percent from 1970 to 2012, but Hamilton County’s grew 442 percent. By 2012, Johnson accounted for only 14.5 percent of the personal income in the metro area’s doughnut counties; Hamilton had 42 percent.

But Greenwood Town Center, which 90,000 vehicles a day will see from I-65, is a coup for the south-side city that six years ago watched Noblesville snatch a coveted Nebraska-based Cabela’s outdoors retailer that had courted Greenwood for that location. In 2014, Florida-based GoodSports Enterprises announced a hotel and indoor sports complex for the site. That, too, fell through.

Now, Indianapolis-based Gershman plans to break ground late next year and open the shopping center late in 2017. Leasing is already under way.

Separately, a Costco is slated to open at the interchange, which already includes a Kroger Marketplace and a Super Walmart.

Greenwood and Johnson County are to be congratulated on their major economic-development news—news that diversifies the region’s wealth.

Holiday Wish List

It would be difficult to think of an easier way to help a worthy local not-for-profit than through IBJ’s annual Holiday Wish List.

Just peruse the list of requests that will run in the Dec. 7, 14 and 21 issues; then, when you see a community group that would dearly love the office chairs your company is replacing, give that group a call. You might also see opportunities to donate copy paper, chalkboard paint, cleaning supplies or bus passes to some of the dozens of not-for-profits likely to submit their wish lists for publication.

Organizations that want to be included in the Holiday Wish List should submit requests for items or services (not cash) to Terry Sowka at tsowka@ibj.com.

Indianapolis has always been proud of its community spirit—with good reason. Let’s add more evidence of our willingness to support the city’s strong fabric of caring.•

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