INDIANAPOLIS - Downtown Indy Inc. has released results of a study measuring the strength of the center of the state's largest city. During Thursday's annual State of Downtown event, local government, business and civic leaders also discussed challenges facing the community. The nonprofit says 70 projects representing more than $2.5 billion in investments are underway and demand to live downtown is outpacing supply.

City-County Councilor Vop Osili (D-15), who will be featured this weekend as part of our INsiders panel on Inside INdiana Business Television, says a vibrant downtown has a positive effect on the rest of the city. "There's so much energy that is in the heart of our city, in the downtown, and it's spilling over into our neighborhoods and improving our neighborhoods." He says when high-wage jobs, such as those associated with the planned 16 Tech development near IUPUI, come downtown, lower-wage and middle-wage jobs will "spill-off" to surrounding areas.

Downtown Indy says other key figures from the study include:

  • A 6 percent increase in the number of Class A and B downtown apartments last year, compared to 2014, now totaling more than 7,000. It says some 3,300 additional units are "in the pipeline through 2018."
  • Occupancy rates have been 95-96 percent over the last five years.
  • Average sales prices for single-family homes and condominiums are higher than ever, with the average home selling within 90 days.
  • Nearly 160 development projects have been finished in the last five years, representing $3.6 billion in investment. Projects expected to be complete this year including the IndyGo Transit Center, Cummins global Distribution Business headquarters and Illinois Building.
  • Central Indiana residents report record downtown usage of 88 percent, according to a perception survey.
  • More than 7.8 million visits were made to 23 surveyed downtown attractions.
  • The average visitor from the metro area stays for approximately three hours and spends $74 per visit for food and beverage, entertainment, parking, merchandise and others.

During Thursday's event, Indiana Pacers owner and Simon Property Group Chairman Emeritus Herb Simon received the Downtown Indianapolis Champion Award for his dedication to business, civic and philanthropic leadership.