I am pleased to serve as the chair of the Downtown Indianapolis EID Advisory Council. After months of preparation, community forums, focus groups, due diligence and reviews of best practices from across the country, the time has arrived to seek your agreement regarding the formation of the EID. Doing so will give control of the collected fund to us – the property owners – and give us a potential opportunity to leverage additional funds for Mile Square improvements. If you agree, please sign and return your signature page. Doing nothing constitutes a “no” vote. Let’s pass this.
The Mile Square EID is an idea whose time has certainly come! As Downtown residential property owners, my wife and I are in full support of the initiative. While the City of Indianapolis continues to do a yeoman’s job of taking care of our entire city, the extra services that this EID will provide will help remake our city’s core. These new services will dramatically enhance the Downtown experience for all commercial and residential property owners and users, as well as the myriad of people that visit our city every day!
The business, residential and social landscape of Downtown Indianapolis has drastically advanced over the last decade. So now is the time to tackle some of the issues associated with our growth and collaborate on a long-range plan. Additional services and investments are necessary to continue the momentum of enhancing the amenities and attractions for our Downtown community that’s entering a 24/7 environment.
EIDs are a proven best practice for downtowns throughout the country, stabilizing revenues and maximizing the benefits to its commercial and residential property owners, member organizations and city partners. Having worked in three previous cities before coming to Indy in 2011, I was surprised to learn that Downtown Indianapolis did not have an EID in place. Doing so would definitely be a change for the better and is long overdue.
Place-making is a key driver of economic activity on many fronts and especially as it relates to tourism, talent attraction and community vibrancy. Traditional government funding models are built to address basic services and basic maintenance of public space. In order to achieve our own high quality of place standards for a successful Indy, its incumbent on all of us to address that incremental investment which has proven time and again to deliver high returns in the form of hosting major sporting events, an active and vibrant downtown and a growing population of talented workers.
As we look to attract and retain the talent needed in a 21st century economy, the importance of a vibrant downtown corridor is pivotal to growth. According to the Brookings Institution, the attractiveness of major metropolitan areas has created an environment of concentrated opportunity within the urban core, and Downtown Indianapolis is no exception. When quality places and spaces are paired with concentrated opportunity, our community’s future looks bright. Creating an EID will continue this momentum in Downtown Indy for years to come.
I now think an EID is how we can move beyond stagnating growth in our property values and take Downtown and therefore our investments to the next level. Downtown will finally have the budget and focus needed to address Downtown unique issues such as compassionately helping the homeless, increasing safety & security, and improving the aesthetics of our living area.