Fishers receives Certified Tech Park designation

A certified technology park has been approved for the city of Fishers after the application spent more than a year awaiting state confirmation.

The designated area encompasses most of downtown, including the North East Commerce Park—where Launch Fishers is now located—and part of the Nickel Plate District.

The classification will allow the city to collect up to $5 million from incremental growth in sales and income tax revenue—money that would otherwise go to the state. The funds can be reinvested in the area to attract new businesses and development.

Mayor Scott Fadness and Launch Fishers founder and CEO John Wechsler said they pursued the designation as part of their strategy to grow the city’s growing tech community.

According to state guidelines, a tech park needs to have a plan for growth, an ability to attract high-tech businesses, financial support from the local government and the involvement of a higher education institution.

Two dozen CTPs exist statewide, including four in Indianapolis.

Fadness and Wechsler believed Fishers exceeded the state requirements for a CTP.

The city spent $3.1 million to purchase the former Deca building for Launch last year, and Ball State University and Purdue University both have a presence within the park boundaries.

In its application, the city said it would spend the additional revenue to reimburse itself for the Deca building, put $1.17 million toward infrastructure improvements and $300,000 for a statewide educational outreach program known as Launch Indiana.

In addition to already opening the new home for Launch, the city has also finished construction on a new entrance into the North East Commerce Park by aligning it with a traffic light at Lantern Road.

“A certified tech park designation will provide essential resources for our city to continue to develop not only integral local infrastructure, but also further the development of statewide initiatives,” Fadness said in a prepared statement. “Fishers continues to build momentum in organic job creation through the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Fishers submitted the application for the CTP designation in April 2015.

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