Council approves creation of new south-side TIF distrct

The Indianapolis City-County Council on Monday approved the creation of a new tax-increment financing district and economic development area enveloping the Old Southside Historic District.

The plan—approved unanimously by the Metropolitan and Economic Development Committee in early June—allows the city to utilize tax revenue to fund infrastructure improvements throughout the corridor.

The Old Southside is bounded on the north by South Street, on the south by the CSX Railroad and Adler Street, on the east by Madison Avenue, and on the west by the White River.

The TIF district would encompass the area from McCarty Street to Interstate 70, from Union Street to Chadwick Street, as well as along South Meridian Street down to Arizona Street. The area includes the Babe Denny neighborhood and Shapiro’s Delicatessen, a local landmark.

The bipartisan proposal was introduced June 3 by councilors Frank Mascari, D-District 21, and Jefferson Shreve, R-District 16, whose district includes the Old Southside neighborhood.

City officials have said the area is primed for redevelopment. It has already seen an influx of activity, including a Lift Indy neighborhood designation by Mayor Joe Hogsett and the planned $72 million Kraft Factory Lofts mixed-use development along Meridian Street.

BWI also plans to build a $17.5 million, 97-unit apartment project on Morris Street, for which it is requesting up to $1 million in tax breaks from the city over 10 years.

The city hopes to spend about $3 million generated within the district to address infrastructure, sidewalks, drainage, lighting and beautification in the corridor.

“It’s a dead expanse so close to the heart of our city,” Shreve said in June. “It’s been a very-much challenged part of town that is organically beginning to turn. I think we can accelerate that momentum.”

The measure is expected to be heard for final approval Wednesday by the city’s Metropolitan Development Commission.

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