Before we plow head-first into 2020, let’s take a moment to celebrate and reflect on an exciting 2019. Here are just a few of the things Downtown Indy, Inc. accomplished this year thanks to the support of our many members. Cheers!
QUALITY OF SPACE
ELEVATED ADVOCACY ROLE AS CONVENER AROUND ISSUES MANAGEMENT
DII launched “The Downtown Agenda” in 2019 to focus on barriers/obstacles that might limit Downtown from maximizing its economic and community growth. Strategic discussions commenced around six critical issues including Safety/Security, Curb Management, Homelessness, Livability, Affordability and Brand Narrative. Each committee is now reviewing existing data to assess and understand each issue and is identifying gaps to analyze and determine community outcomes. Strategic Briefs will be shared in 2020 that will identify priorities, proposed roles and recommended change-agents to address each issue to increase the quality of life and experience.
MANAGED SERVICES BETTER REFLECT MEMBERSHIP PRIORITIES/EXPECTATIONS
DII launched a 12-month pilot Street Ambassador Program to clean sidewalks and public spaces in the Wholesale District to respond to the increased level of concern regarding safety and lack of cleanliness in the Downtown area, largely brought on by those experiencing homelessness and panhandlers. The pilot program currently consists of six Street Ambassadors who have been hired through HVAF and provides these veterans a temporary, full-time position with a $12 hourly wage. Just in October and November, DII Street Ambassadors removed enough trash to fill 220 garbage bags, picked up more than 172,000 cigarette butts from the sidewalks in the Wholesale District and assisted 430+ visitor inquiries for directions and information.
SHAPING THE NARRATIVE
ACTIVATED MONUMENT CIRCLE YEAR-ROUND WITH LAUNCH OF SHINING A LIGHT
After months of stakeholder outreach around Monument Circle, budgeting and planning meetings, creative development and infrastructure improvements, DII launched Shining A Light on November 9 with great fanfare, forever changing the public’s experience on the Circle each evening. Thanks to a $7.6 million investment from Lilly Endowment, Inc. new and updated LED lighting, along with a new audio system and video projections have been added to present the nightly Signature Salute. New programming has followed with Holidays on the Circle and 2020 will allow other organizations to join us in focusing on arts and culture. To date, the project has generated thousands of visitors, plus 334 media stories creating 249 million media impressions with an advertising equivalency of $2.3 million.
DEVELOPED COMPREHENSIVE, SEGMENTED, DATA-DRIVEN COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
With the addition of a new data manager position, DII is focusing on communications strategies with the benefit of strong, consistent and measurable data to tell the story of Downtown and what DII does to enhance and advance Downtown. A refreshed website and digital media strategy has allowed the marketing team to generate new content focusing on metrics important to business members including new developments and businesses, along with an expanding residential base. An updated residential profile now exists giving way to a new Downtown Living Guide, which demonstrates the evolving demographics of those who live Downtown and the growing lists of places to live.
ENRICHED RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE CITY
DII partnered with Big Car Collective and responded with a strong “yes” to the Request for Qualification by the City of Indianapolis as a long-term, placemaking partner. DII demonstrated its competence, recognized qualifications and experience in placemaking, event activation and raising sponsorship revenue. Additionally, DII’s events director became the facilitator of Business and Neighborhood Services’ Events Advisory Board in April. And, with the successful launch of Shining A Light, DII has hosted multiple weekly and monthly meetings with a focus on collaboration with public safety, BNS, DMD, DPW and IHPC.
ENHANCED MEMBER RELATIONS/COMMUNITY OUTREACH/RESIDENTIAL ENGAGEMENT
With a strengthened member-engagement emphasis, DII hosted 11 member-engagement events and introduced a new member-prospect orientation series to attract new members. New engagement opportunities were offered, including the formation of six “Downtown Agenda” committees as well as Shining A Light sub-committees and promotional partnerships with Drink Culture, 317Shooters and Big Car. A Downtown Resident Council was started in 2019, which launched its an initial residential survey. And, a pilot program to engage the Downtown workforce was created called “Mulch Madness” focusing on spring plantings and garden prep to complement other beautification projects for Downtown employers. Engagement led to an increase in member retention and 55 new businesses to DII’s membership roster.
We’re looking forward to a productive and rewarding 2020 working with our members.