As a six decade resident of Indianapolis, I have seen the city grow from “Naptown” to “India-no-place” to Indianapolis, a vibrant, exciting city whose very name is respected at the national level and who is attracting some of the best companies, events, and talent in the country. We accomplished that status through the strong, visionary leadership of many great women and men of the community who charted a path which is at a crossroads. That crossroads is the continued investment in our Mile Square.
The Economic Improvement District (EID) petition currently in your possession gives us all the ability to invest in the next step for our City. The EID will provide funds to correct many of the problems we encounter as we go about our daily lives in the Mile Square. Vagrancy, panhandling, disrepair, beautification, wayfinding, and transportation are all problems we complain about every day. They are real problems that are not within the scope of services provided by the City.
As the regional market leader for Hertz Investment Group, owner of Salesforce Tower, PNC Center, and Capital Center, I have seen the benefits of Improvement Districts in the other cities I work in. Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, and Baltimore, to name a few, all have EID’s that have made huge strides from walking greeters/concierges in Milwaukee, to a light rail system in Cincinnati, free bus service for eligible downtown employees in Columbus, beautification projects in Cleveland, and creation of greenspace gathering areas in Baltimore, each city is better for it. We participate in the EID fees in each of those cities and are planning to do so in Indianapolis where our investment is at its highest (our contribution will approach $300,000).
This “tax” as the papers want to call it is not a tax in our mind, but, rather an assessment that helps us keep our neighborhood at its best. We have worked hard as a City to get where we are and believe me, we have the respect of every city around us. They all want to be like, no make that better than, Indianapolis. If the competition for the Amazon HQ2 has taught us anything it is that the margin of victory is narrow. The tiebreaker could come down to something as simple as, what is Indianapolis doing to stay safe, beautiful, walkable, and relevant?. The EID may be just that tiebreaker, every other city on the list has one.
Please say yes to the EID. Don’t let us slip back to Naptown.
Vice President-Leasing, Hertz Investment Group, LLC