Story Provided by City of Greenwood
Photography Provided by Brandi Caplinger & the City of Greenwood
Throughout the past decade, the City of Greenwood has worked to establish and implement a vision for Old Town as a vibrant and diverse destination featuring residential, restaurant, retail and office development, including enhanced streetscapes and optimal pedestrian connectivity to surrounding parks, trails and other public assets. Since the establishment of a new vision for downtown in 2014, quality-of-life improvements throughout the city have skyrocketed, along with the addition of more than 80 companies and nearly 4,000 new jobs. Greenwood is now the fourth fastest-growing city in the state, with a population now steadily approaching 60,000 residents – double that of 25 years ago.
$83 Million Development Bringing More to Downtown
Just this year, Greenwood leaders realized a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to further advance their vision, and transform Old Town for current and future generations. With the vacancy of the former middle school property located downtown at 523 South Madison Avenue, the city broke ground on the 19-acre property and announced plans for the development, which will include retail and office space, new multifamily and single-family housing, and enhanced public spaces and streetscapes.
The new development marks an important milestone in efforts to revitalize Old Town, ensuring its future as a thriving core that is walkable and connected to trails, parks and dynamic public gathering spaces.
This lively people-centric evolvement hasn’t been the only project on the City of Greenwood’s agenda. By driving community engagement through a collective sense of place, Greenwood has been proudly working on the following developments, which spread over 100 acres and serve as critical components of Greenwood’s downtown resurgence:
Amphitheater: Recently renovated in 2017 with waterway terracing and new trail configurations, the Greenwood Amphitheater reigns as the area’s premier outdoor music venue. The Greenwood Parks and Recreation Department hosts approximately 10 events there annually, including a free summer concert series with local and regional acts, as well as a lighted holiday trail. Thousands of residents and visitors flock to the amphitheater year-round for these events and others, sponsored by local churches and businesses.
Art on the Trail: The Art on the Trail program on the Polk Hill Trail continues to grow. The program puts the spotlight on select artists from around the country in the city’s own backyard. As additional artwork continues to be installed, residents and visitors are encouraged to take a stroll or bike ride through the outdoor gallery near the downtown area.
Event Lawn: Recently completed and located in Craig Park, Greenwood added 100,000 square feet of open space to develop an event lawn with a permanent stage pad. The event lawn can host more than 20,000 spectators, and now anchors Greenwood’s Freedom Festival, Sertoma Club’s WAMMfest, and other musical and cultural events for residents and visitors alike.
Greenwood Community Center: Undergoing its first renovation since 1992, the Community Center was completely reimagined in 2017 and now hosts Kid City, a two-story, year-round indoor play zone for children, with STEAM-focused activity centers that incorporate a variety of educational themes and a prized Luckey Climber. Seeking to be more inclusive in recreational opportunities, Kid City leaders began hosting Sensory-Friendly Fridays in 2019.
The Gym is a modernized adult workout area featuring separate, spacious environments for fitness and yoga classes, and the latest in cardiovascular and weightlifting equipment. The Courts host basketball, volleyball and pickleball players of all ages. The Greenwood Community Center has more than 2,500 members and welcomes thousands of visitors annually through day passes, and adult and youth programming.
Greenwood Fieldhouse: The former Greenwood Middle School is being redeveloped into the Greenwood Fieldhouse, which will open later this fall. The fieldhouse will be a year-round recreational and fitness center for residents and will serve as a destination for youth sports teams. It will be equipped to host a variety of sports including volleyball, futsal, badminton, soccer, baseball, basketball and pickleball. Key features include golf simulators, an elevated running and walking track, multi-purpose turf fields and more.
Madison Avenue: The Madison Avenue project provides a significant transformation of one of the city’s major north-south corridors. Initial work on the project, which encompassed the portion of Madison Avenue between Pearl and Noble streets, was completed in late 2018. The second phase of the project stretches north to Fry Road and adds an enhanced multi-use trail for pedestrians and bicyclists, marked pedestrian crosswalks, and several streetscape improvements.
Old City Park: Open since last fall and located in the heart of downtown, Old City Park is a world-class park featuring a playscape plaza, event lawn, fitness circuit, bocce court and native prairie meadow. The playscape plaza is home to a 20’ triple cube tower, which is the first of its kind in Indiana and one of only three in the country.
Old City Park also contains other permanent outdoor games, a climbing wall with elevated landings and custom hillside climbing nets, a double pipe slide, urban porch swings and other modern playground amenities.
Pickleball Courts: Pickleball has taken the nation by storm as the fastest-growing sport, and in 2020 the Greenwood Parks and Recreation Department built three additional pickleball courts in one of Greenwood’s most popular parks, Craig Park, bringing the total court count to seven in the complex. The courts are home to the annual Greenwood Pickleball Open, welcoming more than 100 participants each year. On any given day, players of all ages use these courts during the park season. Pickleball courts are also available at the Greenwood Community Center and will be available at the Greenwood Fieldhouse.
These developments and public amenities are just a glimpse into all the City of Greenwood has to offer.
“I could not be prouder of the strides made by Greenwood’s Parks and Recreation Department, especially this past year,” says Rob Taggart, executive director of Greenwood Parks and Recreation. “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked tirelessly to shift, adapt and provide safe programs and events to residents. Now, we are beyond eager to welcome residents and visitors back to our old and new facilities, like Old City Park, with a renewed sense of energy and purpose.”
While many of the improvements beautify the city and encourage residents to become more active, they represent thoughtful and meaningful progress for a city on the move.
“In Greenwood, we believe the quality of life offered to our citizens is a direct reflection of who we are as a city,” says Mayor Mark W. Myers. “Our public assets show we value family, community and quality of life for our residents. Our investments are already producing returns to our residents through rising property values and the addition of state-of-the-art public amenities.”