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Question from Indianapolis Mayoral Debate on WISH-TV: Reviving downtown after COVID

Hogsett and Shreve: Reviving downtown Indianapolis (reclip)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Democrat mayor of Indianapolis and a Republican hopeful for the job answered questions, many provided by WISH-TV viewers, during a live, hourlong debate aired Monday night.

Hogsett is seeking a third four-year term as mayor of Indianapolis. Shreve, a businessman who has previously served on the City-County Council, won the Republican primary in May.

Monday night’s presentation was the first one-hour televised debate in an Indianapolis mayoral campaign in nearly 20 years.

Parts of downtown have struggled to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Many downtown offices remain empty for remote work, and many of the businesses have faced difficulties. What needs to be done to fully revive downtown?

Shreve says fully staffed offices downtown are not likely to return, and people need to accept that reality. He does not want to tax Marion County people to create incentives to bring employees back downtown. He says we need to repurpose the downtown buildings for other needs. However, Shreve says, the perception of downtown safety needed to be address, and the residential growth has been in a limited section of the city.

Hogsett agrees the five-day workweek with commuters will probably never return to how it worked before the pandemic. But, 25,000 new residents now call downtown home as part of a Downtown Indy Inc. program, and the city government provided a $3.5 million grant to that effort. He believes more people will continue to move to homes downtown. Hogsett says people who live downtown know it’s safe, and Shreve hears the complaints about safety who don’t live downtown.