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Eleven Park

Source: Courtesy of Indy Eleven / other

INDIANAPOLIS –– Everything seemed ready for a new downtown soccer stadium. But then, what caused the sudden change?

Ersal Ozdemir, who founded and owns Keystone Group and Indy Eleven, isn’t sure why Mayor Joe Hogsett is now opting to pursue a Major League Soccer franchise instead. However, he’s open to sitting down with the mayor and discussing the future.

“Keystone is one of Indiana’s largest real estate developers, and we focus on transformational mixed-use development,” he told WIBC’s Tony Katz. “In the last few years, downtown, we’ve invested over $250 million in redeveloping buildings, and we own and control almost 30 acres of the downtown area.”

Last week, Mayor Joe Hogsett announced that the city plans to pursue a new MLS team and that taxpayers would foot the bill for a new soccer stadium.

Previously, a plan was to finance Indy 11’s new park, named 11 Park, slated for construction in the city’s southwest quadrant. The state legislature had given the green light for tax districts to assist in funding the project.

“When we were at the Statehouse, we talked about Eleven Park being transformational neighborhood development,” Ozdemir said. “Soccer is the anchor tenant for that, but it wasn’t just about the soccer stadium; that’s what we do. Keystone does transformational neighborhood development. We talked about building apartments, we talked about building hotels, restaurants, retail. We shared our vision that we want to help transform downtown.”

Ozdemir says he’s committed to what he believes is the best path to bringing a first-rate soccer stadium to Indy and supporting the city’s economic growth.

“We have had so much support,” he added. “This part of downtown has been neglected for a long time. Every direction has been developed we thought this would completely transform that.”

The Eleven Park development featured a 20,000-seat multipurpose stadium, serving as the permanent home for Indy Eleven’s men’s and women’s professional teams.

Additionally, the project will include over 600 apartments, 205,000 square feet of office space, 197,000 square feet of retail space and restaurants, hotels, public plazas, green space, parking, and more.

Governor Eric Holcomb and Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett attended the event and lauded the project.