Downtown Indy, Inc. is celebrating 25 years of developing, managing, marketing and activating Downtown Indianapolis. Join us we shine a light on 25 of Downtown’s defining moments.
1. Central Canal Expansion (1994)
Indianapolis broke ground for a $20 million expansion of the Central Canal south and west to White River. (1994) The Central Canal, between 11th and Washington streets, underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation and was extended into White River State Park. The final three-block extension was completed in May. (2001)
2. Circle Centre (1995)
The $319.5 million Circle Centre retail and entertainment complex opened. Additionally, The Artsgarden, an eight-story glass rotunda suspended over the Washington and Illinois street intersection, opened. This huge project spurred development and started Downtown’s revitalization. (1995)
3. Victory Field (1996)
Victory Field, home of the AAA Indianapolis Indians, opened.
4. Murat Centre (1996)
Murat Centre opened after an $11 million renovation and began to bring first-run Broadway shows to Downtown Indianapolis.
5. Emmis Communications Corp. (1998)
Emmis Communications Corp. opened its seven-story $15 million world headquarters on Monument Circle, giving Downtown its first major new office building since the Bank One Tower in 1990. (1998) Simon Property Group opened its new 14-story, $55 million headquarters on West Washington Street in August. (2006) Rolls-Royce moved 2,500 employees to a new Meridian Center facility. (2012) Cummins Inc. built a nine-story Downtown headquarters on the former Market Square Arena site as its global distribution center housing about 250 employees. (2017)
6. NCAA Headquarters (1999)
Downtown Indianapolis welcomed 300 NCAA employees to their new headquarters in August. Located in White River State Park, the new $50 million NCAA headquarters includes the NCAA Hall of Champions which opened a year later.
7. RCA Dome (1999)
A $20 million renovation of the RCA dome was completed. Work on the venue included the creation of a new street-level entrance with additional large-capacity elevators, relocation of the press box and the addition of two new club lounges with exclusive club seating arear, updated luxury suites and five new super suites.
8. Eli Lilly Civil War Museum (1999)
The $1.5 million Colonel Eli Lilly Civil War Museum opened in the lower level of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument.
9. Conseco Fieldhouse (1999)
The $183 million Conseco Fieldhouse, new home to the NBA Indiana Pacers, WNBA Indiana Fever and numerous concerts and special events, opened. The Fieldhouse combines modern-day amenities with old-time charm. Market Square Arena, the Pacers previous home, was imploded to make way for new Downtown development. (2001)
10. Union Station (1999)
Union Station, built in 1888, reopened after a $7.8 million renovation effort space. The new space was named the Grand Hall and Conference Center at the Crown Plaza Hotel Union Station. (1999)
11. White River Gardens (1999)
White River Garden, the Indianapolis Zoo’s sister institution, opened in June. The $14.5 million botanical wonderland spans 3.3 acres and includes a resource center, gift shop and two restaurants. (1999) Indianapolis saw the grand opening of the Dolphin Adventure at the Indianapolis Zoo. This one-of-a-kind underwater dolphin dome offers a unique experience for all visitors as they get up close and personal with the dolphins. (2005) The Indianapolis Zoo debuted its latest permanent exhibit, “Meerkats” along with the newly renovated and expanded Deserts Dome in May. (2006) the Indianapolis Zoo debuted its latest exhibit, “Oceans presented by Old National Bank” as an interactive experience where visitors can see, feel, touch and talk with the sea creatures and zookeepers. (2007) The Indianapolis Zoo opened its newest permanent exhibit: Cheetah: The Race for Survival. (2010) The world-class $26 million Simon Skjodt International Orangutan Center opened in May. (2014)
12. Circle of Lights (1999)
The Circle of Lights (formerly the World’s Largest Christmas Tree) boasted new light strands. These strands replaced the original strands, which had adorned the Circle for more than 30 years. The rest of Downtown got into the holiday spirit with new decorations, including toy soldiers, candy canes, projected images, icicle flags and stage set. (1999) The 4,784 lights were replaced with new LED bulbs, as well as new hardware and garland strands. The “Keeping Spirits Bright” capital campaign is underway to update the total décor and raise $2 million. (2017)
13. Residential Boom (2000)
Downtown’s residential boom began. The Downtown population has increased from less than 20,000 to more than 30,000 in less than 20 years. (2018)
14. White River State Park (2003)
White River State Park was completed in its entirety after more than 20 years of planning and development. The park boasts a new entrance, performance lawn, visitor center, play area for small children and a formal oval garden. (2003) Downtown Indianapolis welcomed a brand-new outdoor concert venue called The Lawn at White River State Park, with the first concert premiering in June. (2004)
15. Development of Six Cultural Districts (2005)
The Indianapolis Cultural Development Commission provided funding to identify and improve Indianapolis’ six cultural districts: Broad Ripple Village, The Canal and White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Mass Ave and Wholesale District. Downtown Indy, Inc. was charged to manage and market all districts. (2005)
16. Herron School (2005)
Herron School of Art and Design had its grand opening in IUPUI’s Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Hall in June. This building was a $26.5 million project and utilizes 169,000 square-feet. (2005) A new Campus Center opened in the heart of IUPUI, used by 12,000 students, faculty and staff daily. (2008) IUPUI celebrates 50 years in 2019.
17. Lucas Oil Stadium (2005)
Ground-breaking took place for the new multi-use stadium and entertainment facility, Lucas Oil Stadium, estimated to cost around $675 million. (2005) The venue opened as the permanent home of the Indianapolis Colts, as well as a venue for conventions, trade shows, concerts and other special events. (2008) The former RCA Dome was imploded on Dec. 20. (2008)
18. Conrad Hotel (2006)
The Downtown skyline welcomed a new addition with the completed construction of the luxurious Conrad hotel. (2006)
19. Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick (2007)
Downtown Indianapolis began work on the Indianapolis Cultural Trail: A Legacy of Gene and Marilyn Glick in April to connect the city’s Cultural Districts. (2007) The Glick Peace Walk, part of the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, opened in June. The Walk includes 12 sculptural gardens that celebrate the accomplishments of individuals who achieved greatness through peaceful pursuits. (2010) All 8 miles were completed and the trail officially opened. (2013)
20. Super Bowl XLVI Bid Awarded (2008)
On May 20, NFL team owners awarded the 2012 Super Bowl bid to Indianapolis. (2008) Super Bowl XLVI took place in Downtown Indianapolis hosting New England Patriots and New York Giants. This Super Bowl was the most watched television event in history with more than 117,000,000 viewers. More than 150,000 visitors came for the festivities, with many corporate decision makers putting Downtown Indianapolis on the radar. (2012)
21. JW Marriot (2008)
Groundbreaking on a new $425 million JW Marriott Indianapolis, located in the heart of Downtown, took place. (2008) The world’s largest JW Marriott, with 1,005 rooms, opened Feb. 4., the entire complex features four hotel properties with more than 1,600 rooms. (2011)
22. 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park (2010)
Newfields: The Indianapolis Museum of Art opened 100 Acres: The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park in June. The park is one of the largest museum art parks in the country, and the only one to feature the ongoing commission of site-specific artworks. (2010)
23. Convention Center Expansion (2011)
The expanded Indiana Convention Center opened in January, doubling its size and creating one of the nation’s largest convention centers. The ICC and Lucas Oil Stadium combined provide 745,000 square-feet of exhibit space. (2011)
24. Georgia Street (2012)
As a Super Bowl “Village” project, Georgia Street was re-created as a three-block walkway and outdoor entertainment destination. Downtown Indy, Inc. began managing and promoting the venue. (2012)
25. Salesforce Tower (2018)
Tech has grown tremendously in Downtown Indy over the past decade. Indiana’s tallest office building with 48 floors switched from the Chase Tower to Salesforce Tower. Salesforce hopes to have about 2,200 employees working on 11 floors in the tower. (2018)