Indianapolis, IN- There were a series of events that ultimately led me to transition from a career in TV news and into commercial real estate, but the transformation about to happen along the White River in central Indiana is one of those stories that showed me the impact commercial real estate professionals can have in the communities they live.

          It was beautiful day in July of 2017, and it was just me, my camera and my tripod in the Broad Ripple Park with leaders and community members from Hamilton and Marion Counties. They were all there to issue a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) from groups looking to partner up and create a master plan of future developments along the water way.

        In journalism school they teach you to tell small stories big and big stories small. In this case, I chose to take the expansive topic of a 58-mile White River Vision Plan and tell it through an Indianapolis fisherman I found on the shore. 

Full story here-  https://fox59.com/2017/06/28/marion-hamilton-county-leaders-looking-to-make-the-white-river-the-new-happening-spot/

 

        Two years later, the White River Vision Plan is approaching its completion. The third and final phase is scheduled to be completed in April. The plan’s website says the Action phase, “will identify any policy or legal barriers that could prevent implementation of the plan, and secure public and/or private investors to fully fund development preceding the planning process. The vision plan will provide guidance for the Central Indiana community to implement and support the plan to final creation.”

            This is a pretty big deal! We’re about to learn what could be on the horizon for White River and how these stakeholders plan to get it done. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with some of the program’s leaders along with my fellow Hamilton County Leadership Academy classmates and members of the Indianapolis’ Stanley K. Lacy (SKL) Executive Leadership Program.

 

HCLA and SKL Members Discuss White River Vision Plan

HCLA and SKL Members Discuss White River Vision Plan

HCLA and SKL Members Discuss White River Vision Plan

HCLA and SKL Members Discuss White River Vision Plan

HCLA and SKL Members Discuss White River Vision Plan

HCLA and SKL Members Discuss White River Vision Plan

         During this conversation I started to fully appreciate how many people this vision will impact. The river’s future is a big deal to farmers in the northern most parts of Hamilton County, canoe and kayak operators in Noblesville, restaurants in Broad Ripple and developers like Ambrose working on Waterside, a redevelopment of the GM Stamping Plant.

            Right now, everything is on the table and I mean EVERYTHING! We’re talking about busing in Bison to Hamilton County to help teach the area’s history. Other ideas include turning a rock quarry at 146th and Allisonville into an extreme recreation park featuring rock climbing, a zipline and ropes course.

             In Marion County, transformational projects are proposed at Clearwater and I-465, Broad Ripple, the Emerichsville Dam and Southwestway Park. Leaders are exploring changing some dams into graduated structures that would allow people to float or canoe across.

          There are countless other projects to name including Connor Prairie’s Living-History Museum, boardwalks throughout and even a campsite.

          All this is to say there’s going to be a lot happening to activate the White River over the next couple of decades and I’m pretty stoked about it. I’m excited to play a small part in that process and see how this body of water transforms into an epicenter of growth and culture for all Hoosiers. 

      Got any ideas of what you’d like to see along the White River? Leave a comment, send me an email to  Brian@alopg.com or visit MyWhiteRiver.com