From unique new restaurants to investments in public transportation, central Indiana is experiencing a tremendous uptick in quality-of-place assets. On the most recent (i) on Economic Development, Tim Cook and Katie Culp joined Gerry Dick to discuss some of these additions and whether they have the ability to attract – and retain – economic development projects.
Indy’s Food Scene
Indianapolis’ food and restaurant scene is changing for the better, and it’s aiding economic growth by attracting young talent to the area.
“You see more restaurants popping up, and they’re not chains. There are so many choices now. And that’s part of [business attraction],” Cook says. He applauds developers for creating these food-related opportunities that especially draw in the millennial workforce – a talent demographic that is in high demand.
Another major element of quality of place is transportation. IndyGo’s Red Line is a major mass transit initiative that will impact the city’s connectivity in a big way. Running from Broad Ripple through downtown to the University of Indianapolis, this dedicated bus line will make public transportation available to tens of thousands of residents.
Is this mass transit option really needed? Culp says yes, as there is now a large population of Indy’s younger workforce living in places like Fishers and working downtown. “There’s an appeal to looking at your phone or reading the paper during your commute.”
Downtown Real Estate
With projects like Ambrose’s new Waterside development at the old GM stamping plant and the like, there are a plethora of downtown residential estate projects under development. Cook and Culp believe these sites are necessary for quality of place and are needed to support Indianapolis’ growing workforce. “There is a critical mass of people downtown, and until developers see some flattening out, these projects are going to continue [to be needed].”
Other topics covered on the show include an updated release of Ball State University’s county-by-county rankings of quality of place and how qualitative information will play a role in such rankings.
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