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Shreve downtown plan includes tech corridor, repurposed commercial properties

Shreve reveals plans for downtown

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Republican mayoral candidate Jefferson Shreve on Tuesday said the city needs stronger leadership to bring business back to downtown.

Shreve unveiled his downtown revitalization plan in an afternoon news conference on Monument Circle. He opened his speech with a swipe at Spark on the Circle just a few feet away, a project Mayor Joe Hogsett trumpeted earlier this summer. Shreve said he would leave Monument Circle open to vehicular traffic as mayor.

Shreve zeroed in in particular on next year’s split of IUPUI into IU Indianapolis and Purdue University Indianapolis. He said those campuses, together with 16 Tech, mean Indianapolis can anchor both Purdue leaders’ vision of a tech corridor and IU leaders’ plans for a life sciences corridor. Shreve said people studying and working at those campuses will need places to live and work.

“Unlike Joe Hogsett, I have a real estate background,” he said. “I will prioritize these opportunities to collaborate with experienced developers and thought leaders.”

To that end, the former City-County Council member said he wants to repurpose vacant commercial properties into housing and modern office space, noting the foreclosure of Circle Tower and the pending sale of the Emmis Communications building. He said the key to bringing back downtown is to entice people to live there, not just work there. When News 8 asked if this might include some form of housing for the homeless, Shreve replied that could play into his strategy of providing support to homeless assistance programs.

During a question-and-answer session afterward, Shreve said he would prefer not to utilize tax increment financing districts. He said he believes some of the city’s TIF districts have become too layered and too specific to benefit downtown as a whole.

Hogsett campaign manager Blake Hesch sent a statement shortly after Shreve’s comments concluded.

In the last 24 hours, Mayor Joe has displayed real leadership by announcing the construction of our city’s first low-barrier homeless shelter and his decision to bring hundreds of City-County employees back downtown to boost the local economy. Indianapolis residents deserve the opportunity to compare Mayor Joe’s $9 billion dollar Downtown Resiliency Strategy with whatever Jefferson’s plan happens to be, but in order to do that our Republican opponent must provide more details than today’s 500-word vision statement.

Mayor Joe Hogsett campaign manager Blake Hesch