Town of Speedway sees impressive growth in racing, entertainment venues

The hum of the IndyCars may be gone, but the Town of Speedway isn’t finished dazzling its visitors. Besides the Greatest Spectacle in Racing, the month of May brought the opening of the Foyt Wine Vault and the Speedway Redevelopment Commission’s announcement of four more Main Street developments in the works that will be completed in time for next year’s 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.

A new brewery grand opening this month will mark another milestone in a four-year revitalization effort that has brought $86 million in infrastructure improvements, development and construction to Speedway.

These renovations have attracted new businesses to the area, including the Dallara IndyCar Factory and such racing teams as A.J. Foyt Racing, CFH Racing and Juncos Racing. In addition, A.J. Foyt opened a wine bar last Thursday, May 21, and Sarah Fisher and Andy O’Gara are opening an indoor karting facility and restaurant next spring.

“When you’re working to make things happen, you know it’s big, but you don’t know the totality until you reflect," said Scott Harris, Speedway Redevelopment Commission executive director.

Main Street development has been on the fast track since its first $10 million renovation project was completed in 2011 – featuring new bike paths, spacious sidewalks, street signs, manhole covers and bike racks. The new Main Street serves as the centerpiece of SRC’s redevelopment efforts and is part of a $500 million investment to breathe new life into acres of multi-use property that will be primed for commercial, residential and research and development projects.

Here are some surprising facts about the revival of Main Street: 14 new businesses have opened – six more are opening within the next year; and approximately 180 new jobs have been created – with an additional 225 to be established by next spring. All told, $32 million has been invested in infrastructure, $3 million in property acquisition and abatement, and $51.7 million in previous and committed construction.

Setting the pace has been the Dallara IndyCar Factory, which was the first post-renovation business to settle on Main Street in 2011. Next came Lino’s Coffee, CFH Racing and Community Westview Health Pavilion in 2012, Yogulatte, Peace through Yoga, DooDadz Resale Hut, Three Sisters and a Trunk and Barbecue and Bourbon in 2013, and Rolling in the Dough in 2014. This year, the Speedway Arts Centre renovated and relocated to 1340 Main, the Foyt Wine Vault opened May 21 at 1190 Main, and Daredevil Brewing Co is set to open June 17 at 1151 Main. Additional openings in 2015 include OMR Automotive, Big Woods Speedway, Speedway Indoor Karting and 1911 Grill, and Juncos Racing.

“The Indianapolis Motor Speedway holds a rich part of my history and future," said A.J. Foyt. “I remember what Main Street looked like when I first came to Indy, and the commission has managed to modernize it but retain the area’s history, too. We’re happy to be part of Speedway’s redevelopment."

Infrastructure improvements have helped to attract new business. Allison Way is a north-south corridor that connects Gilman Street to 10th Street east of Main, streamlining access. And the realignment of 10th Street and completion of the Main Street roundabout, connecting the intersection of 16th Street and Crawfordsville Road to Main Street, has eased traffic flow and encouraged business growth by opening the downtown district to the IMS track and surrounding areas.

“I think the roundabout has helped us a bunch," said Marcia Huff, co-owner of Barbecue and Bourbon. “It has exposed us – before, people didn’t even know Speedway had a Main Street."

“Main Street's redevelopment not only begins to restore the town’s former grandeur, it carries on Speedway's theme of racing, innovation and community," said David Lindsey, Speedway Town Council president. "We've had great successes on Main Street just in the past month, including announcements that Big Woods Speedway, Sarah Fisher’s Speedway Indoor Karting facility and Juncos Racing are all coming in the next year. We are looking forward to even more wins in the near future."

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