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Greater Decatur Initiative

Greater Decatur is a group of citizens formed in 2012 under the direction of Mayor John Schultz to assist in establishing long-term priorities for the community. After reviewing the City’s comprehensive plan and the park plan, studying other regional initiatives, and hearing from other successful communities, we have established the following to provide guidance:

Vision:A family oriented community full of opportunity and pride – a place to call home.
Mission: Attract, retain, and engage citizens through enhanced quality of life and economic prosperity.

Focus Areas

  • Redevelopment and Revitalization
  • Personal and Business Development and Support
  • Recreational Opportunities and Social Connectivity
  • Community Marketing

Committee Members

Mayor Ken Meyer, Tim Baker, Kyle Bischoff, Jason Brune, Cameron Collier, Larry Isch, Greg Kitson, Adam Lengerich, Deidre Miller, Ryan Noblitt, Melissa Norby, Anne Razo, Clint Tumbleson

2015 Strategic Community Investment Plan Projects

Phase I Projects

Monroe Street Bridge

The Monroe Street Bridge will be modified to allow for improved pedestrian access over the St. Mary’s River. This will serve as a vital pedestrian gateway connection between downtown commercial and residential uses on the west side of the St. Mary’s River, to the recreational and environmental assets on the east side of the river. This project would also involve lighting on the north side of the bridge and other artistic elements to enable the structure to serve as the eastern gateway to the downtown area.

Project details

Cost – $943,500

Lead organization – Decatur Main Street Design Committee

Supporting organizations – Decatur Sculpture Tour, Winning with Wellness, Decatur-Adams County Parks and Recreation

Downtown Gallery/2nd Street Streetscape

2nd Street is home to the main route for the Decatur Sculpture Tour, and pedestrian and urban-friendly improvements will keep sculpture placement in mind. The city invested in completing a downtown planning study, which will incorporate locations that feature sculptures that are a part of the downtown gallery. Other amenities will include sidewalks, crosswalks, pedestrian walkways, trees, lighting, street furnishings.

Project details

Cost – $3,845,075.80
Lead organization – Decatur Main Street
Supporting organizations – Decatur Sculpture Tour, Winning with Wellness

2nd Street Lofts

In collaboration with Biggs TC Development, the 2nd Street Lofts project will create a housing community with preference to artists and creative entrepreneurs.
Approximately 30 apartments will be housed between the Music House building and 5/3 Bank building, across the street from one another in downtown Decatur.

Project details

Cost – $7,186,000
Lead organization – Biggs TC Development

Creative Engagement Center

The Creative Engagement Center is a complementary project, but a cornerstone piece of all of our Stellar Communities projects. It will host co-working space in the form of a business center and arts and cultural center in the first floor of the 2nd Street Lofts. A portion of each of the first-floor facilities will be available for use by residents only, and other parts will be available for residents and the public. It is our expectation that residents participate in entrepreneurial training and programming offered to get their ideas and products to market. The University of Saint Francis and Northeast Indiana Innovation Center will collaborate to provide appropriate programming, and Connect to Careers will manage those classes and trainings.

Project details

Cost – $400,000
Lead organization – City of Decatur
Supporting organizations – North Adams Arts Council, Connect to Careers, University of Saint Francis, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center

SHARP Housing Program

The City of Decatur will implement an extension of its highly-popular, over-subscribed Senior Housing Accessibility and Repair Program (SHARP). An estimated 25-30 homes will receive assistance in this round. In the previous round, 19 properties benefited and the current waiting list is 53 properties.
Project details

Cost – $574,000
Lead organizations – City of Decatur Building and Planning Department, High Performance Government Network

Community Project List

Phase

Project Description

Total Cost

Notes

1

Nature Preserve Project

$ 300,000

Potential DNR Grant

1

Monroe St. Bridge / Downtown Gateway

$ 600,000

 

1

Monroe St. Streetscape

$ 1,000,000

 

1

Art Center

$ 200,000

 

1

Business Accelerator / Co-working Space

$ 200,000

 

1

2nd St. Streetscape

$ 2,100,000

 

2

Downtown Message Board (LED Screen)

$ -

Included in Streetscapes

3

Downtown Information Kiosk

$ -

Included in Streetscapes

1

Pocket Park Completion

$ -

Included in Streetscapes

1

Downtown Sound System

$ -

Included in Streetscapes

1

Downtown Facades

$ 500,000

Partnership w/ Property Owners

1

Marketing Campaign

$ 50,000

 

1

Shaffer Building Acquisition and Removal

$ 500,000

Potential OCRA grant w/o Stellar

1

1st St Property Acquisition and Removal

$ 200,000

TBD for Riverfront Development

1

Old 27 Route Signage

$ 50,000

 

1

Pennsy Depot

$ 80,000

Separate Ask Initiative

1

SHARP Housing

$ 575,000

Partnership w/ Property Owners

2

Hanna-Nutman Ball Diamonds

$ 2,300,000

 

2

1st and Jefferson St. Riverside Park

$ 800,000

 

2

Rivergreenway (5 points through 1st)

$ 150,000

 

2

5 Points Enhancement / Downtown Gateway

$ 2,500,000

Potential INDOT funding

3

Adams St Streetscape

$ 2,500,000

Potential OCRA funding

3

North Gateway

?

 

3

South Gateway

?

 

3

Splash Pad

$ 200,000

 

3

Freight Depot

$ 100,000

 

 

 

$ 14,905,000

 

Greater Decatur’s Vision

What is the city’s vision, as embraced in the SCIP?

Decatur’s vision is to develop a family-oriented community full of opportunity and pride. In order to do so, we must attract, retain and engage citizens through enhanced quality of life and economic prosperity. We recognize the importance of this vision not only locally, but regionally, too.

Many may assume that jobs attract talent, which historically has been the case. As companies are faced with the impending retirement of baby-boomer workers, they are also trying to accommodate the culture of the millennial generation, that bases the choice of where they want to live on quality of place rather than the location of employment opportunities. This is the catalyst of our SCIP. With this strategy in mind, the city and its stakeholders are proposing strategic investment into the downtown core.

How do Decatur’s plans impact the Northeast Indiana region?

As regional planning becomes more prevalent, it is important that Decatur is proactive in identifying how the bigger goals can be specifically tailored to our unique makeup. The current art and business co-working initiatives being introduced in Fort Wayne are important to the region, but will have to look differently in a rural community.

How does art play into Decatur’s landscape?

Decatur is uniquely positioned to become a center of excellence in rural entrepreneurship. Because of the city’s rich heritage of art and innovation, we refer to our theme of “Artistically Inspired Innovation.” Decatur is the birthplace of David Smith, the first artist to use welding in metal sculpture. Film director David Anspaugh, director of Hoosiers and Rudy, is a Decatur native. As well, we are home to successful creative industries such as Formula Boats, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, Hoosier Pattern, Allied Recreation Group, Mind’s Eye Graphics, and more. These creative industries alone account for approximately 1,900 local jobs.

The Decatur Sculpture Tour is in its fourth year as a public art gallery in downtown Decatur. The 2015 unveiling welcomed more than 2,500 visitors and the day alone provided a $60,000 economic impact to the city.  The tour continues to gain momentum, this year with 25 sculptures from artists from six states. This idea of public art is at the core of our SCIP.

What strategies will Decatur employ to accomplish these goals?

The city recognizes and welcomes the opportunity for creative placemaking. This idea has led to downtown Decatur being designated as the epicenter of our creative engagement. We will accomplish this through a people-based, place-based and community-based strategy.

Who are the local and regional partners who will assist in development?

Local partners
Decatur Main Street, North Adams Arts Council, Decatur Sculpture Tour, Winning with Wellness, Decatur-Adams County Parks and Recreation, Connect to Careers

Regional partners
University of Saint Francis, Northeast Indiana Innovation Center, Northeastern Indiana Regional Coordinating Council, Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership

Contacts

Community Coordinator
Melissa Norby
260-724-7171

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