Analysis will detail economic impact of South Village


Now that the $250 million South Village planned unit development has been unveiled, the town leaders will put pen to paper to see how the project will impact all of Zionsville.

In March, members of the Redevelopment Commission went over plans for an economic impact study and a parking study for the town.

RDC Director Corrie Sharp said an economic impact analysis would assist the town as the South Village project moves forward.

“We would like to be able to communicate the economic impact from not only property taxes like a TIF report would do, but also income tax, food and beverage tax, what is the impact on jobs and new residents and new students, so that we can communicate with schools, police, fire on all of these projects comprehensively,” Sharp said. “We now have an approved budget that will allow us to bring expert consultants on board so we can adequately prepare for the South Village.”

Sharp also said the town wants to conduct a parking study. The last study for the downtown area was completed in 2014.

“We are contemplating this new development, we need to have an updated understanding of the existing parking demands, the perceived parking problems, and also as future development comes on, how much additional public parking do we need,” Sharp said.

However, members of the commission asked if there was a way to reduce costs by combining various studies, and asked how different parking is today versus 2014.

“We have read through and studied the existing parking, and what it is telling us is that there is enough parking, but are we willing to accept that?” Sharp said. “We’re looking for validation that it’s true, and we’re also looking to vet it against the real demand for parking versus the experience of coming into the village and feeling like you know where you’re going to park and you’re going to have a great experience.”

Still, members questioned if the additional studies were necessary, or if they could be included as part of the PUD.

“If we have a new overall plan for the Town of Zionsville, I don’t know how the development of South Village wouldn’t fit into that plan,” commissioner Kent Esra said. “I think it would have to and I don’t know that we know that yet. I just think that there are a lot of questions and I think that we’re traveling too fast for the process, that’s my personal opinion.”

The commission voted to move ahead with the economic impact study, which will be conducted by Jenovas at a cost of $35,000. Those funds will come from the town’s economic development area funds for professional services. The commission voted to table the parking study, which is expected to cost around $48,000, while awaiting further information. That study will go before the finance committee, which will look deeper at budgets and proposals.