Anderson mayor hopes downtown work will attract millennials

A central Indiana mayor is hoping work on the city's downtown will attract younger people to the area.

Anderson Mayor Thomas Broderick told The Herald Bulletin that historic buildings are being restored, work on a brewery and distillery continues, a new bus terminal has been proposed and trails around Shadyside Lake will be resurfaced.

"We all know the downtown is never going to be what it was in '50s and '60s," Broderick said. "(Instead) downtown organizations are working now to get a lot of younger folks together to talk about innovation."

Since many of the downtown buildings are owned by individuals, the city has been working to connect owners with developers and to offer tax abatements to encourage development.

Broderick said he hopes bringing in large businesses and building a thriving downtown will attract young people to the area and create a downtown renaissance.

Some community leaders have worked to create a co-working space where young entrepreneurs and creators could work, Broderick said.

Although the efforts are focused on bringing amenities that'll appeal to millennials, the efforts also will enhance the city for established residents, Broderick said.

One such improvement is the new city bus terminal.

A study by the Rockefeller Foundation and Transportation for America found that almost 70 percent of millennials said high-quality public transportation was important when determining where to live. The city is working with the federal government on a preliminary environmental study for the project.

"Not only a bus terminal (but) also mixed use for retail, sandwich, small restaurant," Broderick said. "And I'm envisioning three-story building, think it could have some real potential."

Resident Courtney Brown, 25, said she was encouraged by the recent opening of Kettletop Brewery, but that she's worried because many of the buildings downtown remain empty.

"We just need more things to do," Brown said. "All of the downtown just looks like its dying."

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