The Town of Zionsville recently launched a website outlining its vision for the Zionsville Gateway Area.
Zionsville Mayor Emily Styron campaigned on the idea of razing vacant buildings in the gateway area encompassed by Main and Sycamore streets to create space for a reimagined entryway into town. In the summer of 2020, the town demolished Zionsville Locksmith & Safe, a vacant building at 390 S. Main St., and another vacant building on the same lot, formerly owned by PNC Bank, marking the first stage of the ZGA.
To address challenges and promote development in the gateway area, the town tasked DELV Design and Thomas P. Miller & Associates with conducting a study to identify the best development uses within the ZGA. Town officials believe a mix of public and private developments that combines greenspace, public plazas, parking and a variety of commercial, residential and mixed-use developments are likely, according to the recently launched website, zionsvillegatewayarea.com.
The website is a compilation of findings from the study and “early thoughts about how they could shape the future of the ZGA.”
In-person listening sessions were conducted in late 2020 to gather public input on the project. Greater community, individual stakeholder interviews and online surveys were other methods used. The town reported the information-gathering efforts revealed the following general thoughts:
- Traffic congestion in the area is generally considered a problem.
- Traffic speed is considered too high.
- Public gathering spaces in the form of greenspaces or plazas are highly desired.
- Nonvehicular connections to trails, waterways and walking paths are desired.
- Maintaining the quaint, mid-rise scale of the Village area is a priority.
After gathering data and input, the town created the following list of major influences and design tenets. They will be used as guideposts for design concepts related to how the ZGA could be developed, according to the website. The list included:
- Reduce traffic congestion.
- Reduce traffic speed throughout the downtown area.
- Support the creation of public plazas and greenspaces.
- Support connections to adjacent trails, pedestrian paths, Eagle Creek and the overall White River watershed.
- Support the creation of amenities such as public restrooms and multi-use structures.
- Maintain a development density and scale that is complementary to the existing downtown and neighborhood areas.
- Work to create a stronger connection between the existing downtown area and the Creekside Corporate Park area.
- sWork to incorporate and uphold the principles of “New Urbanism” within the area.