Last week’s editorial headlined “City can solve parking crunch” left the impression that redevelopment projects proposed for the Indianapolis Public Schools’ former bus service center at Mass Ave and East 10th Street ignore a critical neighborhood issue—lack of public parking in this exciting, dynamic part of our city. IBJ’s assertion isn’t accurate, at least for the plan submitted by Strategic Capital Partners.
Contrary to the editorial, the SCP Indy Square plan provides substantial public parking by including a 1,600-space parking garage. Of those spaces, 500 will be set aside for residents of Indy Square, leaving 1,100 spaces available for the public. Similar to the Broad Ripple parking garage, which has only 350 spaces, these spaces will support the new development while also helping to relieve many of the issues raised about on-street, neighborhood and entertainment parking.
The IBJ editorial raised a valid point by recognizing public parking facilities, especially in an energetic and vibrant area, provide a true public service and therefore: “If a garage subsidy is required, so be it—solving the parking puzzle is in the public interest.” The SCP team understands our role in providing for the public good and our request for financial assistance from city, state and federal sources is only for the parking garage, city parks, public areas and public streets in Indy Square, not for commercial development or our own profit.
As former Indianapolis Mayor Bill Hudnut and the Urban Land Institute wrote: “No longer can private capital be relied on to pay the high price of assembling and preparing appropriate sites for redevelopment. No longer can local governments bear the full burden of paying the costs of requisite public infrastructure and facilities.” Indy Square is designed to effectively balance the parallel goals of creating an exciting living environment for a new generation of Indianapolis residents and providing facilities and services for those who have made a life-long commitment to their neighborhood.
Parking is not just an abstract engineering or facilities concept for SCP, its partners and its design team. Members of the partnership, including Schmidt Associates, have lived with the issues outlined in the editorial for decades having been Mass Ave pioneers in the early days. They’ve dealt with a lack of parking even as they grew their businesses. Through Indy Square, the SCP partnership presents a parking and infrastructure plan that has been carefully crafted and fits the current and future needs of one of Indianapolis’ most dynamic corridors.
Strategic Capital Partners chairman and CEO