Greenwood releases master development plan for former middle school property

Citing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the heart of Greenwood for current and future generations, Mayor Mark W. Myers has released a master development plan for the 19-acre former middle school property located at 523 S. Madison Ave. in downtown, known locally as Old Town. The Greenwood Redevelopment Commission (RDC) approved city officials to offer the first bid solicitation for development of the property.

“This is Greenwood’s moment,” said Myers. “Being born and raised in Greenwood and having lived here nearly my entire life, I cannot remember a more exciting time for our city. The quality of life we offer our citizens is a reflection of what kind of city we want to be. To attract residents, businesses and visitors to Greenwood – both now and in the future – we must continue to invest in projects that improve our quality of life.”

The bid solicitation includes 15 acres of property for development. Respondents will also have the option to propose development ideas encompassing three additional parcels and the four remaining acres to the south. Greenwood’s master development plan offers land use estimates and schematics of anticipated buildings, but city officials stressed specific figures for commercial space, office space and residences can and likely will change.

“We’re providing developers with guidance and overarching themes fitting the city’s historic and current aesthetic, as well as features common to successful mixed-use projects throughout central Indiana,” said Myers.

The 19-acre former middle school property located at 523 S. Madison Ave. in downtown Greenwood. (Submitted image)

The master development plan identifies several goals for redevelopment of the property:

  1. Capitalize on recent city investments to further realize the vision of Old Town Greenwood as a vibrant mixed-use destination comprised of residential, restaurant/retail, office and recreation development.
  2. Create opportunities for a range of for-sale and rental housing units to diversify residential products in the Old Town area.
  3. Identify retail/restaurant opportunities to serve the fieldhouse and other area attractions.
  4. Enhance the Madison Avenue and Meridian Street streetscapes with activated buildings that screen parking areas to reinforce district character and create a comfortable pedestrian environment.
  5. Maximize connectivity between new development, the renovated Fieldhouse and nearby parks and community amenities through off-street bicycle and pedestrian facilities.
  6. Use city investments within the public realm for items such as stormwater infrastructure, plazas and landscapes, sidewalks, multi-use paths and public parking to promote high-quality construction that reflects the intent of the master plan on private development sites.
  7. Utilize open spaces and surface parking areas for below grade stormwater detention to improve area drainage and creek health.
  8. Respect context of Old Town commercial district and single-family homes across Madison Avenue.

Later in the meeting, RDC members approved a market analysis for the immediate property and surrounding areas. The analysis will evaluate commercial, residential and office space trends, financial variables, social impacts and key elements for sustained success. Data gleaned will assist RDC members and city officials as development proposals are considered.

Greenwood has undertaken several redevelopment projects in Old Town recently as it seeks to revitalize the city’s downtown and surrounding areas. The city unveiled its final design for a new fieldhouse that will serve as a public amenity anchor for redevelopment of the former middle school property.

In 2018, Greenwood completed two significant infrastructure projects setting up future work at the property. The new Surina Way to Market Plaza connection road runs across the northern edge of the property and features sidewalks, decorative lighting and an innovative bioswale drainage system. South of the property, Greenwood constructed a roundabout to alleviate traffic at the intersection of Smith Valley Road and Madison Avenue.

Other projects in the area include a re-imagined Old City Park, modernized Community Center, reconfigured Madison Avenue, Amphitheater Park upgrades, trail additions, a new Nature Center and the addition of more than 170 parking spaces. The city anticipates an additional 400 new parking spaces as part of the redevelopment project.

The bid solicitation will be open for 120 days, and proposals received will be presented to the RDC. City officials anticipate a final project agreement in early 2020.