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NOBLESVILLE, Ind.–The first housing development in downtown Noblesville in 100 years was announced last week. It could mean that more business and residential development will follow, said Gerry Dick, with Inside Indiana Business.

Dick also said on “Tony Katz and the Morning News”, that other places in the state are also spending money to develop their downtowns.

“You go to a place like Kokomo. This is not just happening in the metro areas like Indy, Fort Wayne and Evansville. You go to Kokomo and they’ve got downtown apartment, downtown living, where they’re investing and reinvesting in their downtown,” said Dick.

And, development in a downtown area has significance, he said.

“It’s something we’re seeing all over the state in communities that are trying to get a hold of their futures, trying to figure out where we want to go. We don’t want to stay standing still, stuck in the mud, if you will.”

Dick said it could be a signal not only of the growth that is happening now, but of future growth.

“Typically where these kinds of projects happen, additional investment follows-restaurants or maybe a small office development- those types of things,” said Dick. “It signals, I think, a vibrancy or a positive vibe about a downtown. people think there are things going on, not just going on now, but in the future, and maybe we want to be a part of that.”

Shelby Bowen, president of Rebar Development, which is building out the Noblesville apartments, told IIB that when projects are developed, that other developers see it and think about other potential development in the area.

He also said the development in Noblesville will answer, at least in part, what has been a traditional complaint in areas that are being redeveloped.

“We both agreed (Noblesville and his development company) it would be great to add some units that were affordable, in a sense that lower income, medium income workforce housing. So we’ve got 10 units that will be available.”

The city and Brown believe the new 80 unit development will help attract talented people to live and work in downtown Nobelsville.

PHOTO: Chris Davis/Emmis