Now is a time when many look back and reflect on the past year. Here are just a few of the things we accomplished in 2016 in Downtown Indy thanks to the support of our members.
Economic Improvement District (EID) strategy/case presentations begin
DII initiated the newly minted “Momentum” plan for a formal EID petition in 2017 for privately- owned properties in the Mile Square. Focus groups and foundational meetings with property owners and key stakeholders set the stage for a long-term “place-making” funding plan.
Addressing aggressive panhandling with awareness/planning
With aggressive panhandling appearing to be on rise, DII initiated a “Total Civic Response” in concert with IMPD, CHIP, Visit Indy and the Professional Blended Street Outreach team. The focus included data collection with current numbers followed by a public awareness campaign.
New administration means new opportunities and understanding
With the start of the Hogsett administration, DII worked assertively to build new relationships with the Mayor’s Office, DPW, DMD, DCE, IMPD, etc. to demonstrate our relevance and role. Senior mgmt. also met with the majority of the City/County councilors in one-on-one meetings.
Local awareness campaign launched: “People Behind the Place”
DII worked with the Borshoff agency to roll out a public awareness campaign to build energy and momentum behind who and what DII is as an organization. The campaign focused on what distinguishes DII separate from the city itself with blogs, videos, ads and key messaging.
Community engagement efforts increased – Quarterly Forums
Staff initiated new quarterly quadrant forums to engage businesses and residents in and adjacent to Downtown to elevate awareness, connections, safety and communications. Issues were raised and addressed with key partners increasing DII’s relevance and outreach.
Downtown Indy Focus on Safety and Security – new opportunities; Captain Mann hired
With greater community feedback regarding panhandling and an open DII position, a revised job description was developed to better collaborate with public and private-sector partners to assure a safe Downtown, enhance perceptions of safety and work more with IMPD.
Established Canal Walk event management and marketing
In partnership with the City, DII now manages events, markets the City’s portion of the Downtown Canal Walk via a new website and collateral. DII’s Canal Awakens event plus new directional signage and public awareness led to a 46 percent increase in events over 2015.
Downtown has become more dense with a growing residential population desiring more retail opportunities. DII conducted market analysis and surveyed the public to gather data on retail trends, needs, gaps, etc. including the efficacy of Circle Centre Mall.
Residential marketing and engagement
In recognition of the demand for Downtown living, DII re-launched a Downtown Living Tour dubbed “Urb Appeal” showcasing the livability and multiple residential options for Downtown. And with an eye to affordable options, the IN Fill design competition was initiated.
Data-driven assistance to brokers and developers
DII has become the go-to resource for office brokers and developers. With an increased focus on data collection and analysis, staff has provided direction with housing growth/rates, office and hotel stats, employee growth/incomes, demographics and economy/employment data.
2017 is set to be another amazing year. Keeping Downtown clean, safe, beautiful and vibrant takes the dedicated support of our community. Thank you to our many members whose ongoing efforts have truly transformed Indianapolis into a world-class city.
All of us at Downtown Indy, Inc. hope you have a fruitful, happy and healthy new year.
Sherry Seiwert & the Downtown Indy, Inc. Staff