7 developments are adding vibrancy to downtown Fishers

Ten years ago the Fishers municipal complex was an archipelago of government buildings surrounded by vast open space on all sides.

Today, the City Hall campus is wedged behind two multistory apartment buildings and, soon, two office buildings.

In addition, three new office buildings have been built just east of City Hall on North Street, a new police station is under construction on the municipal campus, and the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater on the lawn is being expanded.

The area is just the way Mayor Scott Fadness planned it: dense.

“What started as an investment in creating downtown vibrancy through the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater several years ago is quickly growing into a destination for business, bringing investment and jobs to our city,” said Fadness, adding that he wants the municipal complex “to be a robust and vibrant center of business.”

While most of the recent economic expansion has focused on the I-69 and 116th Street intersection developments of Ikea, Topgolf and Portillo’s, the downtown core, known as the Nickel Plate District, has been humming along with construction cranes, earth movers and dump trucks for several years.

Four years ago the Depot and the Switch opened on 116th Street, with hundreds of apartments above and stores and restaurants on the first floors. Now, the city has announced that the last available parcels on the municipal “ellipse,” the egg-shaped drive that circles the municipal complex, will be developed.

Here are seven projects at or around the municipal complex that have reshaped this part of the Nickel Plate District.

1. A four-story office building will be built behind City Hall where a parking lot is now located. BW Development, of [Fishers, Indiana], plans 45,000 square feet of office space on the 1.76-acre city-owned parcel. The city is providing the developer with a 10-year tax abatement. BW plans to break ground this fall.

2. Flexware Innovation plans an office building next to the BW development. The $3.5 million corporate headquarters will have 24,000 square feet of office space. Flexware, which is moving from its current location on Technology Drive, plans to use half of the offices for itself and lease out the other half. Flexware has been in Fishers for 21 years. It will break ground this fall.

3. 1 North is part of a $45 million residential, office and retail development with 224 apartments and 13 combination units that are both apartment and storefront. Located on North and Lantern streets, the development also includes a multistory public parking garage for 500 cars. The apartments will be studios and one- and two-bedroom units. The developer, Envoy, of Indianapolis, expects IT professionals, software engineers, attorneys and real-estate brokers to move into the live/work spots.

4. A new headquarters for the engineering and architecture firm RQAW Corp., Indianapolis, is the corporate component of the 1 North project, which is collectively known as North of North. RQAW will occupy half of the 30,000-square-foot building and lease the rest.

5. Braden Business Systems built a new headquarters west of 1 North on a parcel owned by the city. The $8 million, 35,000-square-foot office building opened in October. It houses the company’s sales, administration, accounting and IT divisions and is also the site for technology demonstrations. The company operates on the top two floors of the building, and the city will sublease 15,000 square feet of space on the lower two floors. Braden moved from Keystone Avenue and 96th Street in Indianapolis.

6. The city is building a three-story police station, along with a 240-car garage, on Municipal Plaza. The estimated cost is $14 million. The buildings will be next to the current station, which will be refurbished and used for other city offices.

7. The Nickel Plate District Amphitheater and the lawn behind City Hall are being reconstructed at a cost of $6 million. The makeover includes a 1,700-square-foot pavilion to be built halfway back on the lawn. The building will have public meeting rooms and bathrooms. Behind the pavilion will be a concrete platform with a 24-jet fountain. The stage will be enlarged by 24 feet with bigger attached bathrooms to accommodate larger acts and more equipment. The sound and lighting is also being improved.

Read the original story from the Indy Star here.

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