The city of Westfield has unveiled the funding plan for Grand Junction Plaza, a redevelopment project that is 12 years in the making. Mayor Andy Cook and city finance leaders Monday night introduced the $37 million plan to the Westfield City Council. The project will feature three pavilions, including an outdoor performance venue, a cafe, and a trailhead pavilion, as well as a children’s play area, and Cook says it will be critical to the vibrancy of the city’s downtown.
The city says the project will be funded with Local Income Tax revenues until the revenues from the Tax Increment Finance economic development area will be able to cover the costs of construction. In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Cook says the funding plan is similar to the one the city used for Grand Park Sports Campus.
"We’ll be using a similar process of financing that involves TIF increment financing bonds. Therefore, they will not raise the property taxes here in Westfield," said Cook. "Even with this $37 million debt addition, and the debt of Grand Park, Westfield still will have the lowest debt per capita of all four cities here in Hamilton County."
The project was designed by Philadelphia-based DAVID RUBIN Land Collective, which has an office in Indianapolis and is also responsible for the design of the ongoing Fort Wayne Riverfront project. The city says Grand Junction will serve as a central gathering place for festivals, markets and other events throughout the year.
Cook says the project has already shown its value, even before construction begins. He says a number of restaurants and businesses have already located and invested in downtown Westfield in anticipation of Grand Junction.
"As mayors today, it is our job to do so much more than fill potholes and pick up trash," said Cook. "We have to create unique places in an entire city so that people will be attracted here and we can keep a hold of our young ones that tend to flock to some of the larger cities because, without these young people and a broad spectrum of residents, then and only then can we further attract businesses that will add to our tax base."
The council is expected to vote on the funding plan later this month. If approved, construction could begin this summer and take about two years to complete.
You can read more about Grand Junction Plaza by clicking here.