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Indianapolis shops for ideas to revitalize Castleton area

Indianapolis leaders need public input on Castleton revitalization project

Aleah Hordges | News 8 at 5 p.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — City leaders are wanting to hear more from the public about making a strategy to revitalize Castleton.

Even though the northeast-side area may seem to be fully developed, it can offer a lot more to people who live, work and play in the area, the leaders said. Changes will come along 82nd Street between I-465 and I-69, including the area north of Castleton Square Mall.

Brad Beaubien, planning administrator for city’s Department of Metropolitan Development, said, “Fewer and fewer people are shopping at brick-and-mortar stores and they’re shopping online and that means we need fewer amounts of land dedicated to retail so when we have a place like Castleton as a heavy concentration of retail that means we probably need to rethink that land use.”

City leaders have been planning to revitalize Castleton since the beginning of 2019. An online survey and public meetings have been seeking input.

Jean Leeper, owner of Indiana Lighting Center at 8060 Shadeland Ave., said she agrees with the revitalization plans. “Especially as you go past the mall toward I-69, there’s a lot of areas there that could be enhanced and ungraded to make it look a little bit better.”

City leaders have been hearing from the public on what they want to see in the community. Redeveloped office space and mixed-use housing are a few of the ideas.

Leeper said, “If they could do a combination of apartments, condos, restaurants below, it would bring people around there. Have a little more green space.”

Other parts of the discussion:

  • Realigning streets to improve traffic flow on the main roads, East 82nd Street and Allisonville Road.
  • Making East 86th Street north of Castleton Square Mall another main road for motorists.
  • Indiana Department of Transportation is working on pedestrian access under I-69.
  • More beautification projects.
  • Turning existing railroad tracks into a pedestrian route.

“The Nickel Plate Trail is the railroad tracks that cross 82nd Street. So, that actually connects the (State) Fairgrounds up with Fishers and Noblesville and beyond, so that is a project that we’re quite excited about,” Beaubien said.

The final public input meeting on the Castleton Strategic Revitalization Project will be 6 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Elementary Gym at Heritage Christian School, 6401 E. 75th St.