September 14, 2020

City-County Council Approves Convention Center Expansion

A screenshot of Monday's virtual meeting of the Indianapolis City-County Council.

A screenshot of Monday's virtual meeting of the Indianapolis City-County Council.

The Indianapolis City-County Council gave final approval Monday night to three proposals related to the Indiana Convention Center expansion.

The council unanimously approved $155 million in bond funding and other agreements for the expansion at Pan Am Plaza. Councilors said the businesses are a financial anchor for downtown Indianapolis, and Councilor Jared Evans (D) said the city will be well positioned when pandemic restrictions lift. 

"When the convention business comes roaring back, we’re going to be positioned to expand on all the things my colleagues mentioned today concerning convention business that we don’t have," Evans said. 

The project includes two high rise hotels and large ballrooms, spaces potential conventions have said they need. Developers have committed to bring 600 hospitality jobs.

Councilor LeKeisha Jackson (D) said a committee worked to make sure workers start at $14 an hour.

"Let them know that we are a city that advocates on behalf of our citizens for livable pay here," Jackson said, "so they can have liveable wages for themselves and their families." 

A new proposal to include community members in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s General Orders Board was also introduced at the meeting. That measure would create more civilian oversight of rules and policies that govern the use of police powers and actions. The proposal goes next to the Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee.

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