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Chance to weigh in on city’s new plaza design

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) —  City leaders are hoping to hear feedback from the public Thursday evening on the city’s new design concept for the plaza area, or ‘downtown’s backyard,’ between the city-county building and East Washington Street.

It’s part of the bigger plan for Market East, the newest designated cultural district.

Officials announced the winner of the design competition for the plaza area last year. A consulting firm out of Baltimore, Maryland came up with the winning concept.

Right now, the design features a splash park, ice rink in the winter, café, game area, and an area for outdoor events.

Senior Project Manager Derek Naber, with the Department of Metropolitan Development, says since the plaza is across from what will be the city’s new downtown transit center, it’ll be accessible to everyone.

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“It’s not just the downtown residents that will have access to this space. Everybody that uses the bus system throughout the city of Indianapolis will have access to this amenity for the public to utilize,” said Naber.

Leaders say this particular design would cost about $12 million dollars.

Naber says they’re still exploring possibilities to fund that. In October, Mayor Ballard said they’d be looking at all options, including state or federal funding or funding partners.

Naber says once they decide on funding and project concepts, they’re hoping to break ground around November. It will take a year or two from that to finish.

They’re hoping to hear from the public on this design, saying they’d like to know your ideas for potential art installations, cultural or historical additions, or other activities or programming you’d like to see there.

The first of two public meetings is set for Thursday evening at 5:30, in the old Indianapolis City Hall at 202 North Alabama. The next is set for March. If you can’t make those meetings, and you have an idea or feedback, you can email derek.naber@indy.gov.

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