Downtown Fishers getting major makeover with $157 million development project

FISHERS, Ind. — Downtown Fishers is getting another makeover, and this time it's going to cost $157 million.

The city announced plans for a massive, mixed-use project in the Nickel Plate District along 116th Street.

“We just think that this is going to be an amazing chapter to an already growing and dynamic downtown," Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness said.

On the north side of the project, there will be a five-story apartment building with retail and commercial space. While to the south side, residents can expect to see a six-story, 168,000 square foot office space with a boutique hotel and more retail space.

First Internet Bank has already signed on to move their headquarters into that new office space.

“It dovetails and piggybacks off the success that Fishers has had with the Nickel Plate District Plan, and the Fishers Comprehensive Plan 2040," Browning  Investments President and CEO John Hirschman said. Browning is the master developer of the project.

While some businesses are clamoring to get in on the project, others have been forced to leave downtown. Henri Najem owns the local chain Flamme Burger, who used to have a location in Fishers.

“My heart is in Fishers, I love Fishers, I do want to make it back there," Najem said. "You pinch every penny in this business.”

He said their downtown location near the Depot was seeing fewer and fewer customers, with the main customer complaint being parking.

“The one frustration that a lot of them had was, it wasn’t convenient," Najem said.

In his experience, Najem said free parking garages were filled with residents living nearby. which created less space for customers.

“That's what most people did, the first level filled up first, they get upset, and just go somewhere else," Najem said.

While Najem has lived in Fishers for the past 20 years, he said rent at some of the newer projects is astronomical, but if the financial and parking situation was right, he would come back.

As for other locations, iconic spots like the Nickel Plate Bar and Grill will be spared from being impacted by the project, however, they will get an exterior facelift.

Construction will begin in the Spring and is expected to be completed by fall of 2021.  At December’s City Council meeting, officials plan to propose two large parking garages that they hope will alleviate parking issues in the future.

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