CARMEL, IN- “Wow!,” seemed to be the reaction from the majority of people who witnessed the grand opening of Carmel’s new Midtown Plaza this past Memorial Day Weekend.
Below is a LinkedIn post I shared with a few pictures highlighting the new cultural centerpiece for people who live in the area and the community as a whole.
The Midtown Plaza project, part of the Monon Greenway expansion and the Monon Boulevard, was another happening in Hamilton County I had the privilege of reporting on during my days as a TV news reporter for Fox 59 and CBS 4.
At the time of the announcement, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard explained this was a big part of his overall vision for the city given the need to connect the two main redevelopment districts, the Arts and Design District and City Center.
“We’ll have all sorts of public amenities, games, public sculpture, water features. The bike trail will be separate from the pedestrian trail. There will be five story buildings on either side with beautiful architecture,” Brainard said in 2017.
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And Brainard did not disappoint. While all of Monon Boulevard is not yet complete, currently visitors can play ping-pong, listen to live music and enjoy beverages or relax outside on the plaza between the new Sun King Spirits and Fork and Ale restaurants.
City leaders say in addition to being a cultural asset the Monon Boulevard was envisioned to be a tool when trying to attract not only the nation’s best companies, but also the top talent across the globe.
In 2017 City Councilman Bruce Kimball said, “This is where all of our new businesses, the ones with the high paying jobs are wanting to locate… (Employers) want to attract employees from not just the United State, but around the world and I think this is going to do that.”
“This investment supports our plans for future growth, delivers the best possible work environment to our employees, and further demonstrates our commitment to support the community that has given us so much,” explains Pete Hilger, chief executive officer of Allied Solutions via a press release, which recently moved into a $33 million headquarters in Midtown.
“Projects like Monon Boulevard are offering a fresh vision for the suburbs, by providing the public investment, leadership, and the design excellence that promote walkable places with choices for retail, cultural assets, new jobs, living space, and more,” Congress for New Urbanism President and CEO Lynn Richards said.
The city of Carmel has recently hired a new employee to spearhead programming for Midtown Plaza.