top of page

Care For Mile Square.

A cared-for, vibrant downtown is key to growing our businesses, attracting workers, residents, and visitors, as well as encouraging further investment in our capital city and central Indiana region. An Economic Enhancement District (EED) will provide a sustainable funding source and an unprecedented level of targeted investment in the economic and cultural heart of Indiana, the Mile Square district of downtown Indianapolis.

What is an Economic Enhancement District (EED)?

An Economic Enhancement District (EED) is a funding tool to provide an increased level of service to address specific challenges and opportunities facing a central business district. It gives property owners a mechanism to decide how they want to invest in their downtown. EEDs are very common across the country; in fact, Indy's Mile Square was the largest central business district in the nation without such a tool - until now.

EED investments in the Mile Square will help encourage more workers to return downtown, build on the momentum we're seeing in residential and development growth, and ensure Indianapolis and the region are world-class destinations for residents and visitors alike.

Reggie Miller Mural 3.jpg

The Impact of Care

One-time federal funding provided by the City of Indianapolis through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)  allowed for the creation of an 18-month pilot program to provide enhanced services for downtown. While effective, the Mile Square needs a sustainable funding source to operationalize and continue these services. This is why an EED is so important.

 

Below are some examples of the impact made by the pilot program:

+500%

Increase in the amount of hours worked by Downtown Indy Inc.'s Clean Team

5,000+

Additional bags of trash picked up (+550% from 2022)

1,000

Graffiti locations remediated (+1,100% from 2022)

9X

Increase in foot and bike patrols focused on the Mile Square each week

  • Why is an EED needed for Indianapolis?
    In 2023, the Indiana General Assembly authorized an EED for downtown Indianapolis (defined as the Mile Square) to address issues including safety, cleanliness, and homelessness. One-time federal funding provided by the City of Indianapolis through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) allowed for the creation of an 18-month pilot program operated by Downtown Indy, Inc. to provide enhanced services for downtown, including providing Mile Square-wide cleaning crews tasked with litter abatement, graffiti removal, power washing of sidewalks and more, as well as an increased public safety presence, new crime fighting technology and additional homelessness outreach. These enhanced services have generated tangible results for downtown, but this federal funding is going to run out. Downtown Indianapolis needs a sustainable funding source to operationalize and continue these services so the Mile Square can thrive.
  • How would the EED be funded?
    The EED is funded by a fee on taxable property within the district set by the City-County Council. Under the proposal, the initial EED budget is set at $5.5M, with homeowners paying a $250 flat fee and all other property owners paying a fee of 0.168% of the property's gross assessed value with a cap on the overall assessment growth tied to six year inflation.
  • What services can the EED support?
    EED funds can be used for the following purposes, directly aligning with the priorities of the downtown business community as identified by an Indy Chamber survey: Security (including public safety technology) Safety ambassadors Cleaning, litter & graffiti removal Power washing Outreach to homeless Operations for a low barrier homeless shelter Landscaping & beautification Public events Business attraction & development Planning for improvement activities Here are some of the ways national peers are utilizing EED funds.
  • Why does the EED only encompass the Mile Square?
    The geographic boundaries were set by the Indiana General Assembly. The area of this district footprint – 1.3 square miles – is in line with the size of other districts nationwide. By maintaining a tight geographic focus, property owners can see the direct benefit of their investment with staffing, operations, and safety resources deployed specifically to the area's needs with a high level of accountability and responsiveness in the services being provided.
  • How is the EED distinct from the existing city budget and services?
    The EED will allow for an unprecedented level of targeted investment downtown, driven by a majority property owner board and tailored to the needs of property owners. Districts like the EED have been used in many other cities for decades. These districts provide a competitive advantage to the area, offer greater levels of direct property owner engagement and responsiveness, and help to protect the investment of downtown stakeholders. Additionally, these districts ensure that there is consistency and continuity in the level of service being offered, instead of competing with the priorities and staffing realities of city-wide resource deployment.
  • How is this different from the downtown Economic Improvement District proposal in 2018?
    This tool, passed by the Indiana General Assembly in the 2023 session, is unique to the Mile Square. It requires city and state collaboration and increases the level of direct property owner oversight of the district. Additionally, the proposed budget will sustain and expand street-level operations that have been piloted in 2023, using one-time federal funds from the City of Indianapolis. This pilot has served as a proof of concept for expanded operations downtown and allowed property owners to engage directly with these new resources.
  • How will the investment of an individual property owner in the district be determined?
    The cost to individual property owners will be determined by their property’s share of the overall gross assessed value of all properties within the Mile Square.
  • Why Assessed Value?
    The EED is a structure designed to enhance the quality of place in the Mile Square and protect the investment of property owners. Assessed value is a transparent and straightforward way of capturing property owners’ investment in downtown and distributes the burden of funding the district fairly across property types.
  • When and how will the assessment be paid?
    The fee would be included for the first time as a line item on the property tax bill that property owners will receive in the spring of 2025.
  • How was the proposed budget for the EED prioritized?
    While the enabling legislation allows for a variety of approved uses of EED funds, in the form of programming and downtown-centric initiatives, the proposed budget is squarely focused on the feedback of property owners and their priorities for a clean, safe, and cared for downtown. The proposed budget builds on the strategies of the Downtown Indy, Inc. pilot program, funded by one-time federal dollars, and aims to further expand day-to-day cleanliness, safety, and homeless outreach operations in the Mile Square. It also includes dollars to support the operations of a low barrier shelter and housing hub as a single point of entry into the Indianapolis homelessness response system.

Additional Resources

Reviews
image.png

"The work that Downtown Indy Inc has accomplished over the last two years to provide safety and cleanliness services for downtown residents and employees has inspired more of our Trailblazers to return to the office. The EED has shown it is the appropriate vehicle for this vital work to continue."

Amy Waggoner,
Salesforce

image.png

"We all want to see a vibrant and cared for downtown. We support community, business and government leaders working together to make critical investments to ensure downtown has the tools and resources needed so our workforce, visitors and residents feel safe and welcome.”

Brandi Davis-Handy,
AES Indiana

image.png

“Improving safety and supporting a low-barrier homeless shelter are important priorities for us. We’ve seen progress being made and are ready to partner with the city and our fellow property owners to continue this important work and strengthen our downtown.”

Perry Griffith III,
Denison Parking

Image by Jordan Whitt
bottom of page