IBJ Podcast: Our CEO, Nate Feltman, talks about the need for a new vision for Indianapolis

Does Indianapolis need a new vision? A new strategy for its economic development, talent attraction and overall economy that will take the city into the next 40 or 50 years?

A growing chorus of community and business leaders are saying yes, says Nate Feltman, co-owner and CEO of IBJ Media.

He says the city’s long-time strategy related to conventions and sports will continue to be a part of its strengths and successes. But he tells podcast host Mason King that a changing economy and the changing preferences of young workers and families means Indianapolis must find a new way to grow and thrive.

He’s calling on young leaders from across the city to step forward with ideas. And he says IBJ can help play a role in hosting those conversations.

Plus, Feltman provides an update on how IBJ is doing during the pandemic and what he sees as the news organization’s future.

Read more in Feltman’s column at IBJ.com.

Click here to find the IBJ Podcast each Monday. You can also subscribe at iTunesGoogle PlayTune In, Spotify and anyplace you find podcasts. Here are some of our recent episodes:

IBJ Podcast: Could Indy become a virus-free ‘bubble’ for college basketball?

IBJ Podcast: Pete the Planner urges immediate support for restaurants, plus answers to burning money questions

IBJ Podcast: A woman of color develops first wellness app for women of color

IBJ Podcast: Dissecting IU Health’s plans for a 44-acre campus downtown

IBJ Podcast: Remodelers reveal what homeowners want in pandemic era

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19 thoughts on “IBJ Podcast: Our CEO, Nate Feltman, talks about the need for a new vision for Indianapolis

  1. Yes it dose our street’s and sidewalk’s are filthy.
    The interstate you cannot pull into emergency lanes for the trash and debris our city is looking like Chicago mor and more.
    Let alone all the violence and destruction.
    People are moving out of downtown like never before.

    1. No they aren’t. The downtown population is still growing and has been for quite some time. I don’t disagree that we have major problems that we need to address, but let’s be honest about what’s happening and not engage in hyperbole.

  2. I served as both member and chairman of the newly formed ( at the pleasure of) Bill Hudnut on the Design Review Committee for the regional center of downtown Indianapolis. The membership consisted of Real Estate Entrepreneurs, Greater Indinapolis Industry folks, Architects, Engineers, & Regional Center Businesses. Our charge was to examine existing conditions, transportation,lifestyles, demographics, Work force issues, etc. we met weekly. I’d suggest you might review that approach for re energizing Indy and especially security And the changes that occurred to bring it to where it was and the sharp decline due to what happened. Just a thought.

  3. If we want a “new vision” for the city, we’ll have to figure out a way to include something for the Dems so they can get still work their scams and corrupt schemes. Sadly that’s just the way it is in cities run by this mob, and why almost all major cities run by Dems are in trouble.

  4. John
    This is not a political issue. Many are still moving downtown. With Covid, everything has slowed to a crawl. No sports, affect all the businesses downtown as well as so many people working from home affect the restaurants, etc. It is a snowball effect. If you can not collect enough sales tax dollars and taxes, you will have a short fall.
    The state is responsible for the highways and Marion County does not get a fair shake with the distribution.
    It is also time to become more responsible for our space. Pick up trash, do not throw trash on sidewalks and streets, sweep you own sidewalk in front of your business and homes.
    Dems are not totally in control of the City planning for the last few decades. City planning starts many years before fruition.

  5. https://www.facebook.com/KelliandSteve/posts/4201972886540372 This letter posted on Facebook explains why this business closed. Everywhere has Covid, but only certain cities are in a state of decline. Denial does not eliminate the problem, and it could happen again. Only downtown Indy has been impacted by the violence, but rest of Marion County is doing much better with packed restaurants. I am glad Nate Feltman is addressing Indy’s current state, but public safety is the number one issue. Covid did not shutter the city and county, but violence did. Check out other areas here and in other states where people feel safe, and that is the main differentiator.

    1. That’s really short sighted. A major reason “downtown” has struggled more than the suburban establishments is due to the lack of event traffic. That event traffic is down due to Covid, not some “fear” from “riots”. You are making things up and only confirming your biases.

    2. Charles P. – I have no biases. Toward whom? If you are referring to Black people, you are incorrect. I dislike people who loot, riot, break windows, ruin businesses. If that is a bias, then I am biased against violent people. I see your point regarding event traffic being down. True. People are going to restaurants all around town – just not downtown. I love to dine out and used to go downtown all the time. I am a docent for Indiana Landmarks. I taught inner city Black and white middle school and high school students. I adored all of them.

    3. Your right Charlie P, how dare a business owner not know the reason for the decline in their business. Maybe you should offer your insight on how to successfully run a business that opened in 1989.

    4. First, biases are not limited to race. I was not trying to imply you have a racial bias. My apologies. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bias

      Second. The facebook post you reference states no less than 3 contributing factors to their closing. It’s baffling to think that protests in May (which had isolated nights of violence and damage, yes) is the main cause of slowed hair salon business in September, during a nationwide pandemic and local shutdowns. I don’t dispute they probably suffered some business loss during the couple weeks after those events, but it’s pretty clear that the big picture is the effects of Covid and the larger economic shutdowns that took place and are in still in place today. It is reckless and divisive to state that “Covid did not shutter the city and county, but violence did.”. You can’t tell me that you wholeheartedly believe that. If you’re best evidence is that stray facebook post from one business where they listed violence in May as one contributing factor, that is a very weak argument. I see you were a teacher and are pretty well off, but I have to imagine you have more critical thinking and common sense than this. You should care how you are presented online, as people can easily identify who you are. The internet is not anonymous.

  6. We drastically need transit-focused development. As a resident of Fishers who hardly ever goes downtown, I can tell you it is because I have to drive there. Add light-rail (or even rapid transit bus) connections to each of the reaches of the metro area and development and extensive network within the core and you’ll see greater regional mobility.

  7. Sorry to read about that business but I’m skeptical that one weekend of riots brought down a 30 year mainstay.

    COVID notwithstanding, downtowns are struggling nationwide with respect to homelessness, lack of affordability, and the simple fact that millennials age-out, marry-out, and retreat to the suburbs with yards, schools, and parking lots.

    Midwest downtowns don’t offer the value proposition many people think they do.

  8. It is not easy for this midwestern city, relatively flat, unencumbered by terrain, easy traffic (not Chicago, LA, Houston, etc.), surrounded by welcoming counties with new homes and appealing schools to maintain a robust bustling growing central city. In this case, central includes downtown and surrounding older neighborhoods. Indianapolis downtown in pleasant and attractive, despite so much dreadful surface parking (reasons therefore understood). Sadly, retail isn’t much, a particularly sour note for Simon and what should be a flagship shopping mecca, Circle Centre. The future vision much be based on attractive housing for a varied incomes, urban safety, sound and attractive schools, invigorated neighborhoods, greater employment ,and efficient multi-modal transportation. Then embellish the basics with a concerted effort to add trees, improve parks and parkways, expand trails and pedestrian facilities, and tidy up Fall Creek (awful at MeridianSt for example, but Geist views are lovely). An interesting comment about light rail – sad, but it’s illegal in Indiana compliments of a certain Pence and acolytes; so apparently bus rapid transit is the only option; however, IndyGo cannot extend to other counties until they opt for it. Other cities, such as Louisville, Columbus, Cincinnati, etc. have regional systems. Salt Lake City, a low density city in a conservative state has five light rail lines. It seems that some in the Statehouse enact poison pill legislation to thwart improvements in Indy. Why?

  9. I honestly believe indy needs to do more grand things like build a major attraction of some sort,alot of what indy does isnt particularly unique or grand.Indy needs to start building the city for the future and make it look more modern.Youll be surprised but alot of younger people love cities with nice modern skylines,which Indy is lackimng and more live entertainment venues,like Nashvilles broadway.Plenty of bars with live music and more unique dining and not national food chains. Indy needs more adult entertainment and a love for the arts like syphanies and opra plays act.The failed Waterside project by the city and Ambrose was a good example of how the city should not give major projects to unreliable companies incapable of doing a project of that size.The Bottleworks project is good and the talk of expanding the convention center, new Hilton hotel and expansion on Bankersfield House are all good but where indy goes wrong is scaling back on major projects.IndyEleven once spoke of a 20k seat soccer Stadium now its scaled back to 12k,bad idea! i also suggest indy defiantly built a high speed rail or hyperloop from Indy to Chicago.i also recommend Indy having a train that connects all the major universities. a line from Notre Dame to Indy then from indy the line branch out to IU and Perdue as well as a line from Indiana’s second largest city Ft Wayne. if Indiana did this,especially the hyperloop to Chicago,look at the advantages. Chicago is loosing people because of high taxes just as California.Indy could be the next best option as an overspill for Chicago resifents and companies to move to indy.People could live in Indy and catch a hyperloop or speed train to work in Chicago but live here because cheaper. all these trains would be first dedicated to business and students mainly but the pupblic can ride but it should be primararly dedicated to business and college students schedules first. just a few thoughts

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