Growing pains come along with exciting Brownsburg growth
By Lindy Thackston
BROWNSBURG, IN (July 20, 2015) – When you hear about construction, traffic and roundabouts, you might assume it’s a story about Carmel, but it’s all happening in Brownsburg, too.
While many are excited to see the growth, it is causing some growing pains.
Kroger has plans to expand, but it could impact the little hometown restaurant next door. The owners of Green Street Station are in talks with Kroger about what their future might hold. It could include having to move into a vacant store nearby.
Another mom and pop shop might be affected by all the growth.
A Crew Carwash is moving into town and some people are worried that the hometown car wash down the street will go out of business.
Some residents like Rick Bolt say they’re concerned, but also excited about what’s to come.
“I think it’s time Brownsburg arrived,” said Bolt, a longtime resident and land developer. “We were here, it was a very small town and it really only had 6,000 people back in 1982 when we started looking out here for real estate to buy.”
Bolt owns the land where a new $70 million mixed-use facility near downtown will be built. It will be called the Brownsburg Town Center. Bolt says it would be built on five acres at the northeast quadrant of Green and Franklin streets and will feature both residential and retail elements.
“We had originally planned some less intense development for this site starting in 2010, but since the comprehensive plan came along, we attended all those meetings and listened to what the community had to say, we scrapped our plans and started over again,” said Bolt. “In recent years it seemed like it was getting into a lot of sprawl and we were wanting to see something a little more definitive and we think that the Brownsburg Town Center will do that.”
“The new town council coming in are very interested in getting these things pushed through to completion, so rather than dealing with a lot of roads that were half done, we’re going to see things finally finished.”
One of those new councilors is Brian Jessen. He says one of the main reasons he ran for office is because of the new development and corresponding growing pains.
“I decided it was time to bring some new faces and new perspectives to running for council,” said Jessen. “We’re 20 miles from the 13th largest city in America, so growth is coming and growth is happening. I think the growth that were seeing in Brownsburg is good. It’s exciting because in the next 5 years you won’t recognize Brownsburg. It’s going to change a lot.”
Jessen is planning an upcoming town hall meeting to answer questions and listen to concerns.
“I’d like to see more people getting involved with what’s going on. A lot of people like to sit around and complain about traffic problems and everything else and they don’t know what’s going on. We’re trying to find ways to help encourage people to get involved, to listen, to find out more information because I think they’re really going to be pleased with what’s coming.”
“The town is thriving and we want to keep the young people here too, so when we start looking at things going forward we have to address the infrastructure, widening of some roads, as well as our current storm water system and everything else that needs to be taken care of,” said Jessen. “I want to look and concentrate on the nuts and bolts, so as the growth happens and we start getting more commercial development come in, we’re going to be able to support it.”
“It’s more than just tilling over the ground and laying down black top. We’ve got to build a good infrastructure. When you’re expanding a road, doubling the size of it, it’s going to take longer to get there. People need to be patient.”
Meanwhile, many road construction projects around town continue, including on West Northfield Drive near Kohl’s and Lowe’s. Tilden Drive is also on the list of projects.