Today Downtown Indy, Inc., along with local leaders and the Downtown Recovery Committee co-chairs, reported that Downtown’s recovery is underway with measurable objectives and tactics to re-open Downtown as a diverse, inclusive and economically-vibrant community for the benefit of the entire city. (See the attached PDF.) Additionally, a new city-wide initiative to encourage residents to patronize Downtown businesses was introduced.
“Over the past months, Indianapolis has risen to the challenge of a global pandemic and public health crisis, coupled with a long-overdue national reckoning with racial injustice. Together, we have engaged in difficult conversations, re-examined insufficient policies, and invested substantial resources into the maintenance and repair of our city’s economic engine,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “I am confident that the collaboration and bold spirit that built our Downtown will now help us preserve and strengthen the Mile Square, as we continue to grapple with some of the greatest challenges our city has faced in its 200-year history.”
The Downtown Recovery Committee announced last week that the City of Indianapolis is providing $750,000 to Downtown Indy, Inc, (DII) for safety and security enhancements to the Mile Square area of Downtown. Based on priorities identified by the Committee, paying close attention to diversity and inclusion, the funding will be allocated for the following:
Enhanced Safety & Security
1) Increase Downtown Indy, Inc. foot/bike patrols of off-duty IMPD officers in the Downtown area, quadrupling the coverage already provided by DII.
PROGRESS: As of today, 35 officers are on staff. The new schedule of eight officers each day Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. begins Sept. 1. Foot/bike patrol hours will increase from about 20 hours per week to 80 hours minimum each week.
2) Launch Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Safety Ambassador program employing civilians and IMPD cadets to assist Downtown patrons and business owners while serving as extra eyes and ears throughout the Mile Square.
PROGRESS: Four new Safety Ambassadors have been hired, who will work in partnership with the IMPD Cadets. The Ambassadors are in the process of being trained and will be visible on the streets with Cadets seven-days a week in mid-September.
3) Create a network of 150+ street-level cameras, in partnership with Mile Square businesses, which will be part of IMPD’s existing B.Link program.
PROGRESS: More than 25 properties have inquired about partnering in just a week. We anticipate at least 100 properties connected to the B.Link program
4) Add mobile camera trailers positioned in crime hot spots that will be monitored by IMPD.
PROGRESS: There is currently a mobile camera deployed on the Canal which has proven effective for deterring crime. The purchase of additional cameras is being pursued.
5) Increase partnership between IMPD’s Downtown District, IMPD’s Narcotics Unit and IMPD’s Homeless Unit to identify areas with increased activity and deploy resources more strategically.
PROGRESS: Under the Public Health & Safety Recovery Committee, the group has been meeting weekly to collaboratively work on advocacy, employment and outreach.
“We have been hard at work every day for the past several months addressing the challenges that face Downtown and working to renew our vibrant core to work, live, learn and play,” said Sherry Seiwert, president and CEO of Downtown Indy, Inc. “These new safety tactics, combined with our partner efforts to support and expand homeless outreach efforts and housing, extend our beautification efforts, as well as market and activate Downtown – will have a measurable impact on our Downtown with visible results.”
A vital aspect in the recovery process is Downtown’s messaging. Business owners, managers, residents and the general public want to support Downtown, so a literal and figurative banner under which all could march was needed. DII’s committee made it clear that we needed to revive the image of Downtown; gain the confidence of Downtown residents and workers that it is safe and ready to be thriving again, even amidst COVID; remind everyone that there is much to love about Downtown; and to encourage residents beyond Downtown to try it again.
Downtown Indy, Inc., in partnership with Section 127, unveiled a new city-wide initiative to encourage residents to patronize Downtown businesses and reinvigorate Downtown pride: Back Downtown.
This concept serves as a rallying cry and inspires residents to discover Downtown again. It promotes the interconnection of all Downtown residents/attractions and the power of a united front. Downtown IS a thriving place. Play, eat, shop Back Downtown. Additionally, the double entendre is the notion that residents and businesses support or Back Downtown.
“Downtown needs everyone’s support and patronage now more than ever,” said Denny Sponsel, DII board chair and president of RJE Business Interiors. “Now is the time to come Back Downtown in measured ways. Whether you’re able to work Back Downtown for a few days a week, bring friends Back Downtown for a meal or shopping or do something fun Back Downtown, every bit will make our Downtown stronger and recover quicker.”
A marketing and social media campaign is underway. Tomorrow, Aug. 28, Back Downtown banners will start to be placed Downtown, starting on Monument Circle. Additionally, civic and board leaders will unite under a spirit of collaboration to spruce-up Downtown on two Fridays: Aug. 28 & Sept. 11.
The State of Downtown was presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
For recovery updates, visit www.downtownindy.org/BackDowntown.
To see the Back Downtown video, visit www.downtownindy.org/downtown-indy-inc-reports-on-recovery-progress-and-debuts-back-downtown-initiative
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About Downtown Indy, Inc.
Founded in 1993, Downtown Indy, Inc., a public/private partnership existing to improve Downtown, is also known as Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. As a private, not-for-profit organization, Downtown Indy, Inc. is uniquely positioned to address issues that affect the area’s growth and well-being. Downtown Indy, Inc. focuses on development, management, activation and marketing to advance Downtown as a great place to live, learn, work and play.
About JPMorgan Chase & Co.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) is a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.6 trillion and operations worldwide. The Firm is a leader in investment banking, financial services for consumers and small businesses, commercial banking, financial transaction processing, and asset management. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, JPMorgan Chase & Co. serves millions of customers in the United States and many of the world's most prominent corporate, institutional and government clients under its J.P. Morgan and Chase brands. Information about JPMorgan Chase & Co. is available at www.jpmorganchase.com.