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Indianapolis Receives EPA “Greening America’s Capitals” funding

A site of great opportunity

On September 14th, 2013, The City of Indianapolis provided a press release announcing that the EPA’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities had selected Indianapolis as a recipient for it’s “Greening America’s Capitals” program for 2012. Each year, 4 communities are selected to receive this funding to aid, “… state capitals develop an implementable vision of distinctive, environmentally friendly neighborhoods that incorporate innovative green building and green infrastructure strategies.”

According to the press release, “The Market Square Redevelopment Area aims to transform the immediate area near the Indianapolis City Market and City-County Building into an attractive space that will promote economic development, provide more housing and transportation choices, and reduce infrastructure and energy costs with the design assistance provided from the EPA.”

I emailed Lesley Malone with the DPW to see if there were any additional details regarding this project. She had the following to say,

“This program is still very much in the beginning stages and will take lots of discussion and planning on the City’s side to secure all the funding needed for implementation. The EPA has selected to come to Indy for a 3-day seminar with our key stakeholders and discuss what possibilities that space has to become a more attractive and inclusive staple Downtown. The EPA will assist in the development of the scope of the project so then the City can go right into implementation. Preliminary discussions have included a transit hub with IndyGo as one possibility. The GAC’s program assistance will save the city around $60,000-$80,000 in design and development cost”

The assistance will be welcome as this area has remained vacant for years. The old site of Market Square arena was repaved last year and is now used as a parking lot, the result of multiple failed development proposals. There are still many rumors about potential development on the site. The most recent news in this area, was a report by the IBJ that IndyGo and the City were looking at locating a transit center on the parking lot south of the city county building (across Washington Street). Plans are still sketchy as is funding, but it appears that whatever the result of the GAC’s study is, the transit center will be included in the scope of the work.

As you can see from the image presented in this post, there is a tremendous opportunity to redevelop the land. Any assistance the city can get will be helpful in redeveloping the lots into useful property that can be put back into use to benefit tax payers.

3 Responses to “ “Indianapolis Receives EPA “Greening America’s Capitals” funding”

  1. Gene says:

    I think we’re through the looking glass, to borrow an over-used phrase. Compare and contrast these two items:

    1) “The Market Square Redevelopment Area aims to transform the immediate area near the Indianapolis City Market and City-County Building into an attractive space that will promote economic development, provide more housing and transportation choices, and reduce infrastructure and energy costs with the design assistance provided from the EPA.”

    2) “Richer communities get more US funds from EPA to clean up toxic brownfields” – NBC news, 9/16/2012.

    Whatever money the EPA has should be put into critical things like toxic cleanup. The MSA site has been vacant for 11 years, not one of the geniuses from the City or the local business “community” can figure out what to do with it, other than park cars there.

  2. Brandon says:

    In my day the plaza had already seen its glory days. It will be nice to see this area utilized once again! Maybe this will be a new public area destination…

  3. Eric says:

    Thanks for this update, Curt. Do you know if the DPW or another city department applied for a grant and that’s how the city was a winner this year? Any specifics on what the goals are, like converting the MSA site into a permanent park/plaza? Sure hope not, but the description on the EPA site seems particularly vague for Indianapolis, especially when compared to the Greening America’s Capital ambitions for the other four winning cities.

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