Institute, city leaders highlight increased demand for downtown Indianapolis

November 18, 2013

Two studies have just been released that address the long-term viability of Downtown Indianapolis. With substantive and objective data, Outlook for New Rentals in Downtown Indianapolis (housing study) and Why Downtown Indianapolis Matters (economic impact) articulate the value of Downtown as an economic driver and residential magnet.

In partnership with the IU Public Policy Institute, Indianapolis Downtown Inc. (IDI) commissioned the work to better understand Downtown’s role as the core of Indiana’s most thriving region. The studies go into detail on factors that matter to the future of Indianapolis, the region and the state. Additionally, the data validates a historic, increased residential demand for Downtown.

“We have every reason to be optimistic,” said Sherry Seiwert, president of IDI. “The housing study shows that the booming multi-family rental market Downtown is supporting higher rents while vacancy rates remain at an all-time low. And the other study makes it clear that Downtown is an economic engine powering the state. These two studies combined clearly demonstrate the positive short- and long-term effect on Marion County and the region.”

IDI, in collaboration with a diverse group of civic, corporate and community leaders, began a five-year strategic planning process for Downtown earlier this year. The commissioned studies are intended to serve as a situational analysis for Downtown as future priorities are identified and acted upon.

“While many think of Downtown as the symbolic center of the stage, our research shows it is the economic center. It attracts investment, jobs, visitors and residents,” said Drew Klacik, policy analyst at the IU Public Policy Institute who guided the research. “And, the jobs of these new residents are in important clusters such as life sciences and education, and tend to be amongst the highest paying in the state.”

Highlights include:

· Downtown is experiencing an explosion of rental housing stock, which is attracting young wage earners from near and far.

· Thirty-eight percent of new residents moving to Downtown have come from outside of Indiana and another 26 percent are coming from adjacent counties. This means that more than two/thirds of those moving into Downtown are new tax payers to Marion County.

· Between 1990 and 2012 approximately $9.3 billion was invested by the public, private and not-for-profit sectors in areas such as arts, culture, sports, educational amenities, convention center expansions, life sciences and other commercial buildings and upscale housing  options.

· Millennials and empty nesters are flocking to Downtown to live close to these amenities to enjoy the benefits they provide.

· Downtown is poised to meet current and future demand with 3,500+ new housing units expected between 2014 and 2017.

Read more about both reports here:

Why Downtown Indianapolis Matters

Outlook for New Rentals in Downtown Indianapolis


Indianapolis Downtown, Inc., a private, nonprofit organization formed in 1993,
exists to continually improve Downtown Indianapolis. It is action-oriented and
empowered to address, in partnership with the public and private sectors,
critical issues that affect the growth, well-being and user-friendliness of
Downtown. IDI focuses on the three areas of development, management and
marketing to make Downtown a great place to live, work and play. For more
information about IDI, visit