Department of Metropolitan Development

  • Business Growth & Startups
  • Design
  • Neighborhoods
  • Resilience
  • Third Places
  • Transportation
  • Industrial Renewal

Website
www.indy.gov/DMD

Primary Contact
Brad Beaubien
Administrator for Long-Range Planning
Contact via email

Mission statement

The City of Indianapolis’ Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) exists to promote community and economic development and perform city planning, zoning, and redevelopment activities for Marion County.

Actions

Actions are activities derived from the Plan 2020 planning process that a partner has committed to implement.

Department of Metropolitan Development is working on the following actions:

Neighborhoods

Strategy

Implement a planning and public policy strategy to identify locations and guide the development of new neighborhood nodes and villages.

Action

Conduct a development suitability analysis to determine where village potential exists, including market demand, parcel size and availability, viability of adjacent neighborhoods, and non-residential land uses

Start Date:

January 1, 2015

Completion Date:

December 31, 2018

Progress

25%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
Several pieces of this action are underway or complete, including the Market Value Analysis (MVA) that is part of the adopted Neighborhood Investment Strategy, which provides direction on the geographic nature of market demand. The Marion County Land Use Plan update also includes a “town center” overlay that will be placed to identify these special places.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Implement a planning and public policy strategy to identify locations and guide the development of new neighborhood nodes and villages.

Action

Establish “complete community” criteria to meet the daily living needs of residents, including: walkability, mixed-use, and a range of housing types (affordability)

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2018

Progress

0%

Neighborhoods

Strategy

Implement a planning and public policy strategy to identify locations and guide the development of new neighborhood nodes and villages.

Action

Determine and adopt adequate public facilities and minimum public service and design standards for villages and neighborhood nodes -such as pedestrian infrastructure, public lighting, streetscape amenities, public space, transit connections, and crime prevention through environmental design

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2018

Progress

0%

Neighborhoods

Strategy

Implement a planning and public policy strategy to identify locations and guide the development of new neighborhood nodes and villages.

Action

Propose Economic Investment Districts (EID) for each existing and proposed village and node to help finance infrastructure improvements, operation and maintenance

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

20%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
DMD continues to provide data and analytic support to districts exploring EID creation for three existing villages and one emerging village.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Implement a housing investment strategy focused on entrepreneurship, such as artists, makers, and other early-career entrepreneurs.

Action

Identify areas best suited to acquire properties in a concentrated area

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2019

Progress

25%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
While not exclusively related to entrepreneurship, the adopted Neighborhood Investment Strategy provides the data and categorization to identify areas best suited for a place-based real estate strategy. RenewIndianapolis, DMD’s non-profit land bank partner, has also internally identified focus areas and is once again beginning to acquire property from County surplus with an eye toward redevelopment.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Implement a housing investment strategy focused on entrepreneurship, such as artists, makers, and other early-career entrepreneurs.

Action

Explore a homesteading program, coupled with loan and incentive programs, in “branded” creative neighborhoods accessible to villages

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
A traditional homesteading was unsuccessfully piloted with one community development corporation and is no longer something DMD is pursuing. However, RenewIndianapolis, DMD’s non-profit land bank partner, does engage in a form of homesteading by transferring affordable properties to individuals for homeownership development. Recently this has included a focus on public school teachers through the beginning of a branded “Teacher’s Village” near 10th and Rural Streets.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Implement a housing investment strategy focused on entrepreneurship, such as artists, makers, and other early-career entrepreneurs.

Action

Utilize anchor institutions or community partners to provide programming, support space, or support services that complement each creative neighborhood

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

25%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
DMD has provided entrepreneurship anchor support as part of broader neighborhood redevelopment goals to Source Riverwest in the Haughville neighborhood and the Big Car Tube Factory in the Garfield Park neighborhood. Source Riverwest provides entrepreneurship training while Big Car offers artist gallery space, arts programming, and artist-in-residence housing.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Provide private market confidence through leading and sustained public investment and commitment.

Action

Expand Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) eligibility for dense mixed-use housing, through designation of Community-Based Development Organizations (CBDO) and through use of Section 108 funds

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
In 2020, eleven CBDOs were certified, up from 6 in 2016.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Provide private market confidence through leading and sustained public investment and commitment.

Action

Target and layer investment of federal development funds, including CDBG, HOME, Low-income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC), and New Market Tax Credits

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
DMD is entering its second year of the LiftIndy program that targets significant CDBG and HOME federal dollars into a single community for a sustained three-year period. The first area is the 16 Monon area, and the application process for the second round is currently underway. Similarly, DMD has been working with IndyEast Promise Zone and Great Places 2020 partners to encourage layering of these and other private and public investment programs, including tax-increment financing, to revitalize neighborhoods.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Provide private market confidence through leading and sustained public investment and commitment.

Action

Promote establishment of Economic Improvement Districts (EID) to improve village core governance and provide support for management and enhancement of public spaces and value-enhancing public services

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
DMD provided data and analytic support to one neighborhood, three existing villages and one emerging village. Of those, currently two EIDs have been successfully implemented (Woodruff Place and Fountain Square). An additional EID (downtown) was not passed by the City-County Council.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Provide private market confidence through leading and sustained public investment and commitment.

Action

Identify targeted neighborhoods for the new county-wide housing strategy

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
The Metropolitan Development Commission adopted the Neighborhood Investment Strategy in November 2017. This Strategy typologizes geographies based on varying market and socioeconomic conditions and identifies community development tools for each type of geography.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Provide private market confidence through leading and sustained public investment and commitment.

Action

Implement a strategy where all existing schools have sidewalks or biking pathways leading to and from the school to the surrounding neighborhood

Start Date:

May 1, 2015

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

25%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
The Metropolitan Development Commission adopted the Walkways Pedestrian Plan in April 2017, which considered destinations like school in funding priorities. In November 2017, the MDC adopted the Marion County Land Use Pattern Book, which recommends any new school construction only be located where trails or sidewalks connect to nearby neighborhoods. Currently, DMD and DPW are working on IndyMoves, the city’s first comprehensive transportation plan, that includes pedestrian as well as bicycle and greenway trail facilities.
Neighborhoods

Strategy

Provide private market confidence through leading and sustained public investment and commitment.

Action

Develop and publish a set of school siting criteria

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2018

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
In November 2017, the Metropolitan Development Commission adopted the Marion County Land Use Pattern Book, which recommends any new school construction follow these guidelines: be located along an arterial street; not be within 1000 feet of a highway or interstate, have direct sidewalk or trail connection to any residential development with one half-mile, and should be within one-half mile of a bus stop or station if IndyGo serves the area.
Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Align transportation planning with industrial renewal efforts by accounting for freight (truck and rail) by looking at capacity constraints and modal disconnects (e.g. more frequent and longer freight trains producing more at-grade crossing delays)

Start Date:

January 1, 2015

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
The Indy Moves Transportation Integration Plan, adopted November 7, 2018, included consideration of Identified freight industry (Conexus). Railroad relocation from downtown to a completely grade-separated Belt Railroad was endorsed, and this was also incorporated into the 2019 update of the Marion County Thoroughfare Plan. In Addition, the Marion County Land Use Plan introduced an "industrial reserve" policy intended to protect large tracts of manufacturing land throughout Marion County, and proximity to rail and highway corridors informed the application of this policy to properties.
Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
The IndyMoves Transportation Integration Plan was completed, including an internal strategic plan for staff that outlines the roles and responsibilities of the four key city agencies involved in transportation: DMD, DPW, DBNS, and Greenways. As a result, a new Administrator for Transportation Planning position was established and funded that reports to both DMD and DPW leadership and is responsible for departmental coordination. This position was unfilled after an initial job posting in 2019 and as of November 2020 is posted a second time.
Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Develop implementation process that requires coordination between DMD, DPW, DCE, IndyGo, Blue Indy, Indy Parks and other internal city agencies and municipal corporations to assure best use analysis and leveraging of investments

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
The IndyMoves Transportation Integration Plan was completed, including an internal strategic plan that led to the creation and funding of a new Administrator for Transportation Planning position that reports to both DMD and DPW leadership and is responsible for departmental coordination. This position was unfilled after an initial job posting in 2019 and as of November 2020 is posted a second time. In addition, other internal and external partners now participate in quarterly Complete Streets Task Force meetings.
Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Incorporate current, pending and future regional pedestrian plan, freight plan, bike connectivity plan, greenways plan, and IndyConnect into thoroughfare plan and other city technical plans as identified in Plan 2020

Start Date:

December 1, 2015

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
The Indy Moves Transportation Integration Plan was adopted November 7, 2018 that brought together modal system plans into the city's first comprehensive long-range transportation plan of the Unigov era. As an implementation step, the Marion County Thoroughfare Plan was updated and adopted on October 16, 2019 to incorporate the right-of-way needs of multi-modal facilities identified in Indy Moves and added non-thoroughfare greenways into the plan for the first time.
Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Consider utilities coordination and multimodal infrastructure improvement as part of construction timeline

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2019

Progress

0%

Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Coordinate all modes of transportation to create interconnected system, including BlueIndy, Bike Share, etc

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
The Indy Moves Transportation Integration Plan was adopted November 7, 2018 that brought together modal system plans into the city's first comprehensive long-range transportation plan of the Unigov era. It includes an updated multi-modal capital plan that outlines all major capital transportation projects proposed, regardless of mode. In addition, a working group of public, private, and philanthropic sector partners continue to work towards a mobility app that brings together all modes of transportation into a common map-based platform.
Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Integrate Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) into land use planning system

Start Date:

September 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
In November 2017, the Metropolitan Development Commission adopted the Marion County Land Use Pattern Book, which includes a new “overlay” classification system called Transit Oriented Development. Land uses within this overlay are encouraged to be denser, more walkable, and less automobile-oriented. As bus rapid station areas become definitive, public conversations about the appropriate locations for these overlays will apply the policy to actual geographies.
Transportation

Strategy

Establish protocol for cross-departmental coordination.

Action

Plan and rezone MU-3 and MU-4 mixed-use zoning districts

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
In 2017, DMD piloted two planning projects for MU-3 zoning, which requires a unique type of plan and city-led rezoning. Based on these two pilot processes, changes to the zoning code have been identified to rethink TOD zoning. As a result of this pilot and change of direction, MU3 and MU4 planning efforts are no longer being pursued.
Resilience

Strategy

Develop a resiliency master plan to guide governing agencies and services.

Action

Complete and implement a county-wide Resiliency Master Plan

Start Date:

January 1, 2017

Completion Date:

December 31, 2018

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
Thrive Indianapolis was adopted as the first sustainability and resilience action plan for Indianapolis as an element of the Comprehensive Plan on February 21, 2019
Resilience

Strategy

Incentivize and reinforce sustainability/livability in the private sector.

Action

Identify ways to make “invisible” things “visible” through real time reporting on local health indicators (IndyVitals)

Start Date:

July 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2020

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
The IndyVitals data platform was launched in the fall of 2016 and includes more than 50 variables measuring the health of neighborhood areas across Indianapolis. It received a national Exemplary Systems in Government Award in 2017 from the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association and was also named a finalist for the local TechPoint Mira Awards in 2017.
Industrial Renewal

Strategy

Create greater local capacity to lead economic growth and development in urban neighborhoods in order to put into productive use underutilized space including brownfields.

Action

Identify/create lead entity responsible for assembling and remediating (as necessary) vacant industrial space

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
Renew Indianapolis has been designated as this entity and is in the process of acquiring specialized staff capacity to address industrial properties. In addition, DMD has already started acquiring industrial properties from County surplus, including the former RCA Plant/Sherman Park, where demolition of all structures in preparation for redevelopment will be complete in 2018.
Business Growth & Startups

Strategy

Spur business growth through implementing place based investment in innovation zones and entrepreneurship districts.

Action

Identify place-based innovation and entrepreneurship districts

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2019

Progress

0%

Message status icon
Status on January 12, 2016
One of the first steps for completing this action step will be to identify a lead entity for each zone/district
Industrial Renewal

Strategy

Create greater local capacity to lead economic growth and development in urban neighborhoods in order to put into productive use underutilized space including brownfields.

Action

Identify and pursue federal funds that will bolster manufacturing re-use and innovation in Indianapolis

Start Date:

September 1, 2015

Completion Date:

December 31, 2017

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 29, 2020
DMD was awarded a U.S. Economic Development Administration grant to support an economic recovery team and has hired its first Principal Program Manager for Economic Recovery and a support staff. It was awarded an areawide planning grant from the U.S. EPA to develop a reuse plan for the former RCA Plant/Sherman Park and subsequently declared the site a redevelopment area and is actively working on site redevelopment. DMD secured $300,000 in federal support for brownfield work in 2017 and 2018, and another $600,000 for cleanup and planning work associated with "Black Mountain", formerly near Sherman Drive and Washington Street. Building on significant EDA planning work for the former Citizens Coke Plant site in 2016, another $45,000 was secured in 2020 for a feasibility study exploring a business incubator located nearby in the Twin Aire community.
Business Growth & Startups

Strategy

Spur business growth through implementing place based investment in innovation zones and entrepreneurship districts.

Action

Use planning and zoning tools to support and enable innovation zones and entrepreneurship district

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2019

Progress

0%

Third Places

Strategy

Take inventory of and maintain a list of third spaces within neighborhoods.

Action

Conduct a public places gap analysis and create an action plan

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2019

Progress

10%

Message status icon
Status on February 6, 2017
A Plan 2020 Bicentennial Fellow project developed a model for conducting this analysis.
Third Places

Strategy

Take inventory of and maintain a list of third spaces within neighborhoods.

Action

Develop criteria for siting a new 3rd place and ways to designate an existing place as a 3rd place

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2019

Progress

0%

Design

Strategy

Engage the private sector to become committed to a culture of exceptional quality and design.

Action

Building off of the Regional Center Design Guidelines, develop a process by which districts may opt-in to minimum design standards for all residential and commercial development

Start Date:

January 1, 2016

Completion Date:

December 31, 2019

Progress

0%

Message status icon
Status on March 14, 2018
DMD continues to evaluate the potential application of special design districts, through either the planning or zoning system, for use in areas outside of the Regional Center.
Design

Strategy

Engage the private sector to become committed to a culture of exceptional quality and design.

Action

Establish an urban design action team to review everything that is awarded DMD funding (HOME, CDBG and TIF) for its design

Start Date:

August 1, 2015

Completion Date:

December 31, 2016

Progress

100%

Message status icon
Status on November 20, 2020
In lieu of an internal action team, DMD established a new staff position of City Architect that provides these review services.