Mayor: Elkhart Plaza Project Will Bring Economic Boost

Posted: Updated:

The mayor of Elkhart says the planned Civic Plaza and Central Park revitalization project will be a big economic boost for the city. Partial funding for the $5 million first phase of the project was approved this week by the Elkhart Redevelopment Commission. The funding paves the way for design work to begin and Mayor Tim Neese says the effort will provide a more streamlined approach to hosting public events in the city's downtown.

In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Neese said the project adds to the importance of creating a vibrant downtown to attract visitors, businesses and potential residents.

"I want Elkhart, as the mayor, to be very competitive," said Neese. "If all things are equal, it's possible that a business or individuals wanting to visit or reside here permanently just might do that based on our downtown."

The city says the project's first phase will focus on green space enhancements, a permanent performing stage, public restroom facilities, and a shaded seating area. 

Neese says the city went from hosting five downtown events to 66 in about two years, which can sometimes create a logistical issue because of the need to close Main Street. The project will also include improvements to nearby Waterfall Drive, which the city says will reduce the need to close Main Street.

"It is a real cross section of activities for people that want to come downtown, so what we are doing is really trying to modify the area so we don't have to close Main Street and then have a more centralized location, which is green space as well as Elkhart Civic Plaza," said Neese.

Neese says the city will continue to gather public input on the project as the design phase rolls on. Construction on the first phase is expected to begin by the end of the year.

Neese said the project adds to the importance of creating a vibrant downtown to attract visitors, businesses and potential residents.
  • Perspectives

    • Mitigating Your Company’s Cybersecurity Risk

      Frequently, I encounter people who think that a software developer understands all languages and can “fix” anything tech related. While that may be true for a few, areas of expertise within tech evolve as rapidly as the technology itself. For instance, there was a time (not long ago) when operating in the cloud was revolutionary. Today, it is considered best practices for some or all of an organization to function within a cloud. Managed information technology began with...



Company Name:
Confirm Email:
INside Edge
Morning Briefing
BigWigs & New Gigs
Life Sciences Indiana
Indiana Connections


  • Most Popular Stories

    • (photo courtesy of the town of Plainfield)

      Plainfield Breaks Ground on Parking Structure

      The first piece of a redevelopment plan for downtown Plainfield is underway. City and community leaders have broken ground on the new Downtown Plainfield Parking Structure, which is expected to be complete in the late summer or early fall of 2020.

    • Tony Bates previously worked for companies including Skype, Microsoft and Cisco.

      Genesys Names New CEO

      California-based Genesys has selected former Skype CEO Tony Bates as its new chief executive officer. The company, which employs more than 800 in Indianapolis, says Bates' predecessor, Paul Segre, will continue as chairman.

    • The Waterside project aims to transform 100-acres of the former GM Stamping Plant site. (photo courtesy of Ambrose Property Group)

      Ambrose, Glick Partner on Waterside

      Indianapolis-based Ambrose Property Group has announced a key partnership for the redevelopment of the former GM Stamping Plant in downtown Indianapolis. The commercial real estate firm is teaming up with the Gene B. Glick Co. to build and manage apartments as part of the $1.4 billion mixed-use redevelopment project. Ambrose says the partnership is also part of plans to catalyze "philanthropic and community-centric strategies to strengthen Indianapolis." The firm also...

    • I-65 INDOT construction map

      I-65 Construction Update

      Construction work is scheduled to start next week on I-65 near downtown Indianapolis. Indiana Department of Transportation crews will begin to clean up the interstates after two years of freeze/thaw cycles. Crews will be working in segments, including patching and repaving work. INDOT crews will begin work in earnest on northbound and southbound in segments, beginning on weekend nights from April 26 through August.  

    • (photo courtesy Dax Norton)

      Whitestown Tops Indiana's Fastest-Growing Communities

      The Indiana Business Research Center at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business says Whitestown in Boone County is Indiana's fastest-growing community for the eighth consecutive year. The center says the town's population nearly tripled, from 3,132 in 2010 to 8,627 last year. Westfield in Hamilton County is not far behind. Its population grew 5.2 percent in 2018, according to information reported by the U.S. Census Bureau. Other communities on the list include...