Greenwood Mayor touts decade-long transformation
Johnson County’s largest city continues to see major transformation. Greenwood has gone from having a downtown vacancy rate of 75% in 2012 to now being 95% occupied, according to Mayor Mark Myers. New developments continue to rise up in the city such as the Greenwood Fieldhouse that opened last spring at the site of a former middle school and the nearby, $83 million mixed-use project known as The Madison, which is currently under construction.
In an interview on Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick, Myers said improving quality of life, especially downtown, was key for him when he took office in 2011.
“It was really sad to see the downtown had diminished. People had moved out and didn’t want to be a part of it,” Myers said. “And when I came into office, one of my first goals was to revitalize our downtown, and as you can see today, it’s now 95% occupied. People are loving to be here. They’re loving what’s going on.”
Myers said the $9 million Greenwood Fieldhouse project, the $6 million development of the City Center at a former bank tower building, and trail and streetscape improvements along Madison Avenue helped spur continued development in the city.
“We did a project called Grow Greenwood to help all the businesses on Main Street and Madison Avenue,” he said. “Those businesses and residents started really exploding again with people moving in revitalizing everything. And it just proved to us that people want to be downtown and the businesses that we have now are just growing every day.”
One of those businesses is Switzerland-based Endress+Hauser, which last month announced plans to invest $33 million to expand its Greenwood operations.
Endress+Hauser first came to Greenwood in 1973, according to its website. The company plans to build a 120,000-square-foot commercial office and light industrial facility on the south side of Greenwood and create at least 75 jobs.
Additionally, Indianapolis-based instrumentation distributor George E. Booth Co. plans to share the new space, and bringing 50 existing jobs to Greenwood and creating 20 more.
But it’s not just existing businesses that benefitted from the city’s efforts. New businesses have begun to take notice, and Myers said it has put the city in a prime position.
“Twelve years ago, when we came in office, we were begging to bring business into Greenwood. Now, we’re at a point where we can pick and choose who we want, what we want.”