Several ambitious economic development projects are already taking center stage this year, particularly in central Indiana. Indianapolis-based KSM Location Advisors Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and President Katie Culp say efforts like the planned $550 million Eleven Park, which would include a new stadium for the Indy Eleven soccer team, continue to draw attention. Cook calls the project an "ambitious idea," but says finding the right location and funding sources will be key to its success.
"Sports is obviously a strength of ours here in Indianapolis," said Cook. "I think the location is going to be key. How is it going to be funded? That’s going to be key. It’s something that we’ve talked about for a couple of years now, but there does seem to be some serious talk around it and I think it’s going to get a lot of attention."
Plans for Eleven Park, which would include retail, residential and office space in addition to the stadium, were first announced earlier this month. One of the potential locations for the development being talked about is Broad Ripple, which Culp calls a compelling location.
"There’s a very active neighborhood group and I know a lot of parties will have to be involved, but the economic impact of this sort of thing is huge and I think it plays to our strength at being very strong in the sports arena," said Culp. "I think, for Broad Ripple, it would be a good location for both millennials who are really into soccer, but also for young families."
During this month’s (i) on Economic Development segment on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Cook and Culp also weighed in on the possibility of a downtown Indianapolis casino.
Both Cook and Culp say the prospects of a new casino in downtown Indianapolis would depend on whether it could garner support politically. Culp says, with Indy’s convention business, having a downtown casino could have the same success as other communities, such as St. Louis and New Orleans, and also fund a lot of improvements in the area. Cook says the question is whether a casino would come with too many negatives that would prevent it from getting the legislative and community support it needs.
You can watch the full (i) on Economic Development segment in the video above.