Spring is my favorite season. It feels like a fitting reward for powering through the Indiana winter – and it also brings about some visible growth in our Downtown landscape.

At last count, there is more than $3.6 billion in investment taking place in Downtown Indianapolis.

While each of those 70 projects brings its own uniqueness, here are a few that we should definitely be shouting from the rooftops.

1. Whole Foods

The latest opening in Market East District is the 40,000 square foot Whole Foods, opening adjacent to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail on March 21 (be sure to check out our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for the opening celebration fun). You can expect to find me sitting in the sidewalk café weekly trying to maintain my New Year’s Resolution of healthy eating.

2. Two New Performing Art Venues

Both the Cabaret and Phoenix Theatre will be debuting their seasons in their new custom built locales this spring. The Cabaret will share an entrance with the Arts Council of Indianapolis, next to Gallery 924. The new Phoenix Theatre will be a few blocks away at Illinois and Walnut streets. These two performance venues are helping to define a new cultural area Downtown.

3. Penrose on Mass

Penrose on Mass (opening in early 2019) will be adding 37,000 square feet of 1st floor retail space plus an additional 230 apartments. The added bonus on Penrose is the convenient new parking options. It’s been a while since we added structured parking to a project in the heart of this cultural district.

4. St’art Up 317

Downtown Indy, Inc. is launching St’art Up 317 during the month of May. This is a program that will bring underutilized and vacant storefronts back to life through art and commerce. Stay tuned for how you can apply to activate; we can’t wait to bring additional vibrancy and shopping opportunities to our Downtown streets.

5. Bottleworks

The first phase of Bottleworks District will break ground on May 1. Phase one will include the West Elm Hotel, an 8 screen theatre and additional first floor retail opportunities. Bottleworks District is a fusion of the past and present encompassing 12 acres of robust arts, culture, fashion, industrial architecture and foodie spots galore.

6. Restaurants, restaurants and more restaurants

I tend to eat out more when the weather is nicer, which is good news for the restaurants already opening in 2018; Love Handle, Peace Water Winery, West Fork Whiskey and Burger Study. But, the ones on the horizon have my taste buds humming! Coming soon: Hedge Row (April 3), Tony’s Steak House, Beholder, Inferno Room, Public Greens, 2 new Cunningham concepts.

7. Residential & Visitor Accommodations 

Spring is also a great time to watch progress on construction projects continue. Under development along Pennsylvania and East streets appear a skyline of cranes at The Whit, CityWay 2, and Hyatt Place and Suites.

These new additions to our Downtown neighborhood are all extremely exciting and validating. They tell the story of opportunity. Our market has the most diverse, eclectic and edgy audience in the state and the diversity of operators choosing to make Downtown home is promising for the attraction and retention of our momentum. Spring has sprung in Downtown and there is no slowing down in sight.

Catherine Esselman

Catherine Esselman

Real Estate Director, Downtown Indy, Inc.