The official plan for the gateway into Zionsville includes greenspace, public spaces and plenty of opportunity for investment. Submitted image
The official plan for the gateway into Zionsville includes greenspace, public spaces and plenty of opportunity for investment. Submitted image
It’s been nearly two years in the making.

Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron and the Town of Zionsville administration launched the process of finding the right plan for the Zionsville Gateway Area (ZGA), leading into the brick street Village Business District.

The underdeveloped area is south of the brick street, includes the intersection of Sycamore and Main streets, as far over to Creekside Nature Park to the east and bordered by private property to the west.

“This was a big reason I ran for Mayor,” Styron said. “I’ve lived in Zionsville for 21 years and what has been a constant is this underdeveloped area that should be the crown jewel of Zionsville, leading people to our brick street. I remember a few buildings coming in and being excited about what would come next – nothing came.”

In the first six months of the ZGA project, the town demolished the PNC bank and a locksmith building, owned by the town. Then, in the fall of 2021, public input meetings were held to find out what public concerns were, what the logistical issues to the property were and how to develop the land, making it serve the community in the best way possible.

“The whole Gateway plan is to engage, and not just for business owners and residents in that area, but all of the people of Zionsville. We want to maintain our authenticity. We want to take care of our land and get the community rallied around this plan,” Styron said.

Areas began forming on the map of the land parcel: a space for residential, commercial, mixed-use opportunities and a public plaza. Infrastructure was a big topic, walking through the challenges of low hanging power lines, flood planes and road reorientation.

In the public input meetings, members of the community brought up concerns about traffic congestion, architecture complimenting existing older buildings, greenspace, public gathering spaces and more.

“One thing we learned through COVID as a town and a nation and a world, we really enjoy those opportunities for outdoor activities, dining and other events,” Styron said. “We’ve incorporated a plan to take a portion of the property for a pedestrian plaza. The plan itself is generated through the public responses and it’s a reflection of what the community has said is an ideal use pattern.”

For those following along throughout the process, scenario two is the official selection.

The space includes a residential area for homes or townhomes, several mixed-use areas for businesses at the ground level with offices above or something similar, a large public plaza, including pedestrian trails and connections and greenspace to enhance those pedestrian areas.

“The first thing we need to work on is the road realignment project. Our infrastructure team is

working with the engineering and then we’ll begin construction,” Styron said.

With infrastructure changes and a tiered construction plan based on availability, Styron estimates much of the project will be complete in the next two years.

“Some of those areas will have to wait until the road system is in place but developers and property owners now have a certainty of what the future will look like,” Styron said. “We’ve worked to eliminate risk for property owners and developers who want to invest in the area and we’re absolutely ready.”

While the ZGA project is in the beginning stages, Styron says they’re just getting started.

“There’s a lot of different things going on across Zionsville for the first time in a long time,” she said.
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