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Back Downtown: Everything You Need to Know

Category Downtown Vibe

This page is your one-stop index (with links) for everything you need to know about Downtown’s Recovery Committee and our message: Back Downtown.

Downtown Recovery Committee

JULY: Downtown Indy, Inc. launched a critical effort to spur Downtown’s sustainability and raise community support for Downtown. The Downtown Recovery Committee is made up of leaders representing businesses large and small, private and public, including minority and Black-owned businesses to address the economic challenges of COVID-19, as well as social and racial inequity. Efforts are already taking shape to significantly fund short- and long-term strategies around safety/security, homelessness, cleanliness of Downtown, and then marketing. Learn more about the work they’re undertaking and find a handy flow chart HERE.

Recovery Committee | Key Objectives & Tactics 2020

1. Enhance Safety & Security

  • Increase foot/bike patrols of off-duty IMPD officers in the Downtown area, tripling the coverage already provided by Downtown Indy, Inc.
  • Launch Downtown Indy, Inc.’s Safety Ambassador program employing civilians and IMPD cadets to assist Downtown patrons and business owners while serving as extra eyes and ears throughout the Mile Square.
  • Create a network of 150+ street-level cameras, in partnership with Mile Square businesses, which will be part of IMPD’s existing B.Link program.
  • Add mobile camera trailers positioned in crime hot spots that will be monitored by IMPD.
  • Increase partnership between IMPD’s Downtown District, IMPD’s Narcotics Unit and IMPD’s Homeless Unit to identify areas with increased activity and deploy resources more strategically.

2. Support and expand new homeless outreach efforts and housing

  • Increase barrier-buster funding for medications, transportation, job-readiness...
  • Maximize rapid re-housing efforts with homeless neighbors
  • Direct mass feeding events to centralized areas & require clean-up plans
  • Advocate for increased permanent supportive housing

3. Extend cleaning and beautification efforts

  • Remove boards over damaged windows; add civic banners and signage
  •  Expand daily power washing in pedestrian-heavy areas
  • Increase trash removal and graffiti remediation
  • Partner with civic groups for weeding, clean-ups, planter maintenance

4. Promote and Market Downtown

  • Support and increase Black-owned and minority businesses
  • Reshape the narrative around the positives of the Downtown experience
  • Launch campaign to support downtown restaurants/retailers
  • Create awareness of COVID-19 safe public spaces and parks

5. Activate and Gather

  • Patronize existing restaurants, retailers, attractions, events
  • Encourage a measured return of the downtown workforce
  • Reimagine and host new outdoor events in line with public health requirements

$750,000 Committed to Downtown Safety & Security

AUGUST: The City of Indianapolis is providing $750,000 to Downtown Indy, Inc for safety and security enhancements to the Mile Square area of Downtown. The Downtown Recovery Committee allocated funding based on identified priorities.

Progress is Happening

  • As of today, 35 officers are on staff. The new schedule of eight officers each day Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. – 9 p.m. is underway.
  • Foot/bike patrol hours have increased from about 20 hours per week to 100 hours minimum each week.
  • Four new Safety Ambassadors have been hired, who will work in partnership with the IMPD Cadets. The Ambassadors are in the process of being trained and will be visible on the streets with Cadets seven-days a week in mid-September.
  • There is currently a mobile camera deployed on the Canal which has proven effective for deterring crime. The purchase of additional cameras is being pursued.

Introducing Back Downtown - Recovery Messaging Campaign

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER: Downtown Indy, Inc., in partnership with Section 127, unveiled a new messaging campaign to encourage residents to patronize Downtown businesses and reinvigorate Downtown pride: Back Downtown. (See a brief video.)

This concept serves as a rallying cry and inspires residents to discover Downtown again. It promotes the interconnection of all Downtown residents/attractions and the power of a united front. Downtown IS a thriving place. Play, eat, shop Back Downtown. A marketing and social media campaign is underway, thanks to the generous support of many of our professional sports teams and private donors, including Section 127 and Sport Graphics.

Back Downtown Weekly Video Series

SEPTEMBER: This series of videos will take you behind the scenes of Downtown’s best restaurants, bars, attractions and favorite hot spots. Additionally, all businesses are invited to get the word out and encourage your customers to come #BackDowntownIndy.