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$5 Million Dollar Lilly Endowment grant to assist with City-County Building Plaza project

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In support of the effort to redevelop the City-County Building Plaza into active and dynamic public space, Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded the Indianapolis-Marion County Building Authority, the operator and owner of the plaza, a $5 Million dollar grant.  This grant is subject to the City of Indianapolis providing matching funds of at least $5 Million dollars for the project’s construction.  The plaza, which is deteriorating and suffers from water damage, has been identified as having great potential as a public space in downtown’s new Market East District.  The construction budget for the project is estimated at $8 million dollars with design, engineering, programming and other management costs comprising the remaining $2 million dollars. 

The City will request $5 million dollars in tax increment funds from the Metropolitan Development Commission to complete the project and create a robust plaza, featuring an interactive fountain, outdoor seating and pavilion spaces, small sport court spaces and even a seasonal ice skating rink.

With more than $350 million dollars in new investment planned and approved by 2018, the Market East District represents Indianapolis’ newest downtown destination.  By 2018, the district will include 150,000 square feet of new retail space, a transportation center, the Cummins Distribution division corporate headquarters, 900 residential units and a 21c Museum Hotel and Cultural Arts Center in Old City Hall.

“The Market East District is coming to life as a stunning gateway into our city, and transforming the City-County Building Plaza into a thriving public space will provide a unique amenity for businesses and residents,” said Mayor Greg Ballard. “More and more, the next generation of top talent is looking to live in cities that offer an authentic urban experience, and that includes access to robust public places. I am grateful to the Lilly Endowment, Inc. for supporting the revitalization of this space in the heart of downtown.”

“This grant, which will help the plaza become one of downtown’s thriving public spaces for individuals and families, accomplishes one of the Endowment’s aims to support efforts that enhance the quality of life in Indianapolis,” said Endowment Vice President for Community Development Ace Yakey. 

Should full funding be secured byJuly1,2015, it is anticipated that construction could begin in late 2015, with substantial completion in late 2016 and final completion in early 2017.

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