This just in: Downtown continues to post strong growth numbers

A closer examination of Downtown’s health and well-being will be featured in the June issue of Urban Times, which will hit the streets the weekend of May 19-20.

Downtown continues to be in a growth mode, according to numbers announced at the annual State of Downtown event staged April 19 by Downtown Indy, Inc., and hosted by the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art.

The number of Downtown market-rate apartments has doubled since 2010, for a total of more than 28,000 residents now living in our Downtown neighborhood. Plus, there are more than 3,000 new apartment units in the pipeline in such projects as Penrose, the development in the 500 block of Mass Ave; City Way II; and, further down the road, Bottleworks.

Other data released at the annual meeting include the facts that:
  • The Curbed blog network has named Indianapolis in its list of 10 cities for affordable ownership. The median home value for a Downtown home is $274,000; Denver’s median home value is more than $500,000; Minneapolis is more than $300,000; Cincinnati is just under $300,000.
  • Vacancy rates of Downtown Class A and B apartments crept up to 6 percent in 2017, up slightly from 4.5 percent in 2016.

Following are other points, by category:

Working Downtown
  • 7,271 new jobs have been added by new and existing businesses growing operations Downtown.
  • 29 percent of all tech jobs in Marion County are located Downtown.
  • In our survey of Downtown Indianapolis businesses, 61 percent affirmed that business was slightly (36 percent) to substantially (25 percent) stronger in 2017 over 2016.
  • Indy was listed by Forbes as one of the Top Ten best cities for young professionals.
Downtown Experience
  • Usage of Downtown Indianapolis continues to be very strong. Ninety percent of all residents surveyed visited Downtown, the highest percentage ever recorded.
  • Central Indiana visitors came to Downtown nearly three times per month. They stayed around three hours and spent $71 per visit in 2017.
  • In 2017, the number of parking spaces was 76,844, an all-time high, a 37-percent increase over the past two decades.
  • Hotel occupancy remained strong in 2017 at 72.3 percent.
  • 64 percent of all Downtown restaurants are locally owned.
There were, however, concerns raised by Downtown Indy’s 2018 biennial perception survey:
  • Residents surveyed aren’t feeling as safe Downtown. The perception of safety fell to 55 percent. This still compares favorably to the 45 percent in the National Downtown Benchmark who feel that their downtown is safe.
  • The rating of Downtown’s perception of cleanliness dropped again this year, to an all-time low of 59 percent. The historical trend in these ratings has been on a slow decline. In an open-ended, follow-up question, those who gave low cleanliness ratings say that it is because of trash.

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