Georgia Street Programming

The Georgia Street transformation has been completed for a few years now, so it’s a good time to look at how the public space is faring.  This was an exciting project when it was first announced, but there was a major issue with its sustained success: most of the buildings that faced it had never really taken advantage of foot traffic.  I’m not sure if that aspect has changed that much in the past 2 years.  However, with the Indy Star taking over the top 2 floors of the former Nordstrom Space, there is hope that they will be able to open up the building a bit.

The good news is that the retail and restaurant void has created a natural spot for food trucks and other temporary activities.  Last Friday was the first Food Truck Friday, and people were out taking advantage of the first warm sunshine of the year:

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Photo Credit: Kevin Kastner

Another programmed event, Georgia Street will soon be hosting public workout sessions on Wednesdays in an effort to attract people to the public space. The street continues to evolve with new uses over time, which is good to see.

Also, I had to add in my personal favorite photo of Georgia Street, from last year during the Gen Con festival:

Photo Credit: Kevin Kastner

It will be interesting to see how much more the street will change if Pan Am plaza were to feature development, which is discussed in this article behind the IBJ’s paywall. As for now, it is still in its transition phase, but the seeds of activity are starting to bear fruit.

Comments 10

  • I’m confused about why the Omni Severin hasn’t taken more advantage of the new Georgia St. They have a part of the sidewalk covered and have a bunch of plants along the sidewalk that, if removed, would provide some great outdoor dining and seating.

    Also, when is it going to be renamed? I thought Georgia St was in the state of Georgia!

    Thank god that campaign went nowhere fast.

    • The mid 1980s expansion and renovation of Hotel Severin turned the front facing side of the hotel to face south so what used to be the front door (north, GA St facing entrance you are talking about) is not maximized as much as we would like now that GA St has become more pedestrian friendly.

      One challenge the Omni has with utilizing that side of their hotel as a compliment to their food & beverage outlets is that entrance leads into a foyer space that is outside meeting rooms and has no direct connection to kitchen/back of house space. So logistically it isn’t the easiest location to serve. Also – often event customers are using that foyer space for meetings and it is blocked off for “public” access.

      • Yeah, I was at an event at the Omni during the Combine and noticed that hallway was blocked off. Sure seems like they would figure out a way to configure things differently to get a connection to Georgia St. Especially if the last renovation to that area was in the 80s (which is what it appeared based on the decor of that back area ballroom).

  • The thing I hate about the food trucks is the fact that most of them run on gas-powered generators, making it too noisy to even have a conversation nearby. Why build all the electrical infrastructure if no one takes advantage of it?

    Also, one bit shared with me from an IDI employee, which I totally agree with: the city ordinance that requires food and alcohol areas to have fencing around it really kills the vibe on Georgia Street. The vitality of the place is destroyed by the iron police barriers limiting the interaction between people and places.

    • Who would we lobby to get those regulations changed? The State? The City?

    • I love the food trucks, but agree about the noise issue. I stopped going to any of the food truck events because of the noise, and only patronize the trucks individually that don’t have loud generators. Consider (kindly) sharing your concern with the food truck operators and IDI.

      IANAL but as far as I know excessive and unnecessary noise also violates city code, so you could always call code enforcement and see what happens. It’s certainly excessive, and unnecessary since A) power is available many places downtown, and B) quiet generators do exist at reasonable prices.

    • The infrastructure probably didn’t anticipate food trucks and the food trucks are probably not equipped to run on a ground charge.

  • i agree with some of what you guys are saying but it seem to me that for the street to have some success it needs more of a mixture of merchants how about a nice general store[FREDS]and a nice mid scale resturant[Alexanders]you[the city] got to give the people a outlet of enjoyment all the way around to look forward to when they come down on georgia st for the big ten tournment with other events and please circle center hurry up and get a anchor for the nordstrom space[Macys or Gordmans]either one could help georgia st and downtown indy.

  • The way it was designed as a modern square, it needs much better programming. You can’t simply throw sporting events at it and assume it’s going to succeed as a public space. How about some residential front it?

  • Good to see the Tilted Kilt is building its new outdoor deck along Georgia Street now. This will be nice and will fit in well with the similar deck of Howl at the Moon next door. To Jefferson (above) – the main new anchor for the south block of Circle Centre has been announced. It is the Indy Star newspaper with about 700 employees. There are also supposed to be several new restaurants / bars that will be located along the first floor frontage of that block – most likely along Georgia Street and probably S. Meridian. There is also supposed to be a large 24 hour fitness center going in somewhere in the south block as well.

    To Eric (above) just recently there was an article in the IBJ talking about the possibility of residential being part of some new developments on the Pan Am Plaza block. Could be a couple of new 20 story towers with a hotel in one of them, some residential – and likely various commercial uses on the ground floors of the new buildings. This was all just “potential / possibility” talk, but apparently the owner of the property has expressed a desire to see some major improvements like this. We’ll see.

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