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Downtown Indy Presents 2022 State of Downtown

INDIANAPOLIS - Downtown Indy, Inc., along with city and community leaders, revealed its latest research regarding data that indicates the strength of Downtown during the 2022 State of Downtown presented by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Organization leaders gathered Downtown stakeholders, business leaders, residents and civic partners for the annual State of Downtown at the Hilbert Circle Theatre to discuss the Downtown, national trends, and transformational projects planned and underway that will contribute to Downtown’s vibrancy, inclusion and economic sustainability.

Economically, Downtown is performing well and helping to support the entire county’s overall tax base. While Downtown represents only 1.6 percent of the county’s total land mass, it contributes more than 19 percent of tax revenue for the City/County from Downtown property taxes for Marion County and income tax revenue. The assessed value of Downtown properties grew 6 percent since 2019.

Other data shared includes the following:

Livability of Downtown
  • Downtown Indy remains the fastest growing neighborhood in Marion County. Downtown’s multi-family residential apartment occupancy is at 96.9 percent indicating a continued demand for downtown living.
  • In 2021 alone, prices for single-family homes increased more than 12 percent – a jump of 22 percent from 2018.
  • Of the 25,000+ Downtown residents, 56 percent are male/44 percent are female, and the average age is 36 years old; the median salary is $49,989; 31 percent have bachelor’s degree, and another 26 percent have graduate degrees or higher.
Working Downtown
  • According to CBRE, 62 percent of the people who work downtown want to go back to the office for at least part of the week for team connection and community.
  • The office vacancy rate for 2021 is 18.1 percent. In 2016, it was 20.2 percent and had improved to 14 percent in 2019.
  • According to P.U.M.A.’s Global Trends Report, local independent concepts and experiential retail will once again distinguish downtowns.
  • According to the City of Indianapolis, 128 non-residential project permits were pulled in 2021, compared to only 34 in 2020 and 24 in 2019.
  • From 2021 and into the near future, $3.83 billion in completed and pipeline projects have been accounted for.
Downtown Experience
  • 2021 attendance numbers at Downtown’s primary attractions/arts and cultural institutions grew 50 percent over 2020, while attendance at sporting events grew 220 percent over 2020 numbers.
  • 72 new street-level retail and restaurant businesses opened in 2021.
  • Crime in Downtown continues to decline year over year – a staggering 44 percent lower than 2016 and 24 percent lower than 2020.

“We are very pleased to report that the state of our Downtown remains strong and continues to improve at a dramatic pace in a post-pandemic time,” said Bob Schultz, interim president of Downtown Indy, Inc. “With $3.68 billion in downtown developments and transformational projects underway in the urban core, we continue to demonstrate Downtown’s resiliency and fortitude in attracting talent and setting the bar for the rest of the county.”

The program also included a presentation from national researcher David Dixon, FAIA from Stantec, who addressed trends impacting downtowns nationwide. Dixon pointed out four key elements necessary for a successful downtown in a post-pandemic environment:

  • Walkability: Make walkability real by starting with compact critical mass
  • Connectivity: Integrate modes to link people to their communities
  • Public realm: Provide a connected hierarchy of public spaces from common grounds that invite the entire community together to places that invite quiet reflection
  • Authenticity: Build in the community’s living culture
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Dixon’s remarks were followed by civic leaders including Scarlett Andrews, director of the City of Indianapolis Metropolitan Development Department, Alan Bacon, co-founder of GANGGANG, and Kristian Andersen, co-founder of High Alpha.

Thomas K. McGowan named recipient of the 2022 Downtown Indianapolis Champion Award
The annual Downtown Indianapolis Champion Award was awarded to Thomas K. McGowan, president and COO of Kite Reality Group. McGowan was lauded for leading the Downtown Recovery Committee and has championed many downtown development projects and initiatives.
The award is presented annually by Downtown Indy, Inc. to honor and recognize an individual or family for leading or creating that which will have a lasting impact on Downtown residents and visitors. Past recipients include Robert Reynolds, Jerry Semler and J. Albert Smith, Jr., who were three of DII’s original board members active for 25+ years; Jim Morris, chairman of Pacers Sports & Entertainment; Bill Hudnut, Mayor from 1976 – 1992; Herbert Simon and Mel Simon; Brian Payne, Central Indiana Community Foundation; and the late Tamara Zahn, formerly with Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

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