Fishers Chamber of Commerce and downtown businesses react to community redevelopment plan

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If new multi-purpose structures are built in downtown Fishers, they’ll be a welcomed sight for some local businesses.

Dan Canan, president of the Fishers Chamber of Commerce, said the Chamber is excited about the prospect of new developments in the area.

“It’s really nice to see the amphitheater, green space, the walking trails that are already happening and then the project that is proposed, which is the RFP [request for proposal]for the new building that is across the street [Municipal Drive],” he said. “I think that really is an exciting development for the community.”

The plan called for by Tom Dickey, director of community development, is for two multi-story, multi-purpose buildings in front of the municipal building on the north side of 116th Street and includes the parcel of land currently occupied by the Chamber.

Canan said he sees no negatives with the project, and has heard no negative feelings from businesses that are members of the Chamber.

Fritz Kreutzinger is the property and business owner of the Fritz in Fishers auto dealership near the municipal complex and proposed site for new buildings.

“I think the idea is a great continuation of the natural progression of development without unwilling displacement,” he said.

Kreutzinger does not feel the new buildings comprised of retail businesses and luxury apartments will not be a “God-send” for downtown, but they can’t hurt in terms of business.

Tracy Gritter, co-owner of Gallery 116, doesn’t see it the same way.

“We’re very excited about it just to bring more retail shopping experience into the heart of Fishers,” she said. “It’ll help our business.”

Such a development would encourage people to stay in the area and shop local.

Gritter explained extra foot traffic would be welcome – “the more the merrier.”

Kreutzinger said the buildings could help instill a sense of place – an objective the Town of Fishers is trying to achieve with the project and its “Nickel Plate District” initiative that includes the new amphitheater under construction behind town hall and a completed walking trail around the complex.

An representative from Nickel Plate Bar and Grille, a business near the Fishers Chamber of Commerce and one of the land parcels in question, could not be reached as of press time.

 

In terms of responsibility, he said the town is ready to see a project like this come to fruition.

Canan said various plans for redevelopment in the downtown area have been in the works for years, including a plan that may have gone forward had the economy not crashed when it did.

The time to capitalize, invest and build is now, according to Canan.

“What Fishers is doing is really, I think positioning itself well with those individuals in place, with all this new infrastructure that’s going on,” he said. “Really positioning the community for when the economy turns around…”

“Fishers is in a great position to capitalize on that.”

When the economy evens out and others are building, the development may already be established.

As far as funding for required infrastructure, Kreutzinger feels the new property taxes generated from the new buildings in a tax increment funding district will work.

Gritter said she thinks it “seems like a good plan.”

“What this will do, in my opinion, is kind of kick-start other development,” Canan said.


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