Speedway hopes Main Street redevelopment leads to more investment
The Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be getting $100 million in improvements from a bill signed late Friday by the governor. Those upgrades coincide with the Town of Speedway's speedy makeover over the past year.
Main Street is now the main attraction, and town leaders are hoping to draw tourists who will spend their money.
Julie LaFore is having the time of her life. It was almost exactly a year ago that she opened Lino's Coffee inside the Dallara Indycar Factory. Both companies originated in Parma, Italy, creating a match made in heaven.
"To be a part of the redevelopment of the street to become bigger and better in the shadows of the track and part of history was too good to pass up," she said.
"I lived in Speedway four years before I knew there was a Main Street because there was no reason to come down here," said Scott Harris, Speedway Redevelopment.
Harris has helped to change all of that. As the executive director of the Speedway Redevelopment Commission, he has spearheaded the Main St. Redevelopment since starting with a facelift. There are new planters and rain gardens.
"This is a building we cleaned up and purchased and the exact place where Dallara is today," he explained.
The changes are dramatic in Speedway's downtown, turning a tough sell thought to be a hot spot only one month a year into a major destination.
"Main Street has helped us to sell. Getting Dallara here has helped us because it repositions us," said Harris.
Over the years leading up to the redevelopment, businesses closed and moved off Main. While the Westview Medical Clinic closed up, they built a much larger, nicer location just a few blocks down but still on Main Street.
Connie Norton owns The Main Attraction Antique Mall here. She was here before the makeover and has expanded her business since.
"It was an opportunity and had a lot of people wanting to come in and nowhere to put them," said Norton.
A lot more growth is on the way. Scott Harris anticipates opening several more restaurants along Main St. by this summer and a few new buildings by this fall.
Festival on Main, a street festival being held Friday, runs until 10:00 pm. It's sponsored by the IndyCar Family Foundation and features music, food trucks, a zipline, Kid Zone and some drivers will stop by.