November 14th, 2011 | Indiana Home Loans
In 1821, the Indiana General Assembly founded Indianapolis as the state capital. Alexander Ralston was commissioned to design the new capital. The original plan called for Indianapolis to be only one square mile, and right in the center, he placed the Governor's Circle where the Governor's mansion was to be built. However, no governor ever lived in this mansion due to its lack of privacy as the center of the city. Therefore, the mansion was demolished and eventually the very recognizable Monument Circle was built as a tribute to veterans of the American Revolution. It is now the center of the city known as the "Crossroads of America."
As the 12th largest city in the United States, Indianapolis' population is nearing 800,000. In addition, the metropolitan area of Indianapolis has reached over 1.5 million, making Indy the Midwest's third largest city. The growth rate for Indy is above 5% - one of only three major Midwest cities that can claim this.
Indianapolis is a business-oriented city with companies ranging in both scope and size. Accomplishments such as the Circle Centre Mall and Conseco Fieldhouse were the product of partnerships between the public and private sectors. In order to inspire growth in the region, area businesses and community leaders have dedicated substantial resources. Also, Indianapolis has a number of incentives for businesses, such as training grants, EDGE tax credits, and tax abatement. There are no sales and use taxes on equipment and materials used in production, and there is also no corporate franchise tax. The corporate gross income taxes have been eradicated, the research tax credits have been raised, and the inventory taxes are currently being phased out.
The Indianapolis Region, also known as Greater Indianapolis, is a nine-county area that surrounds the center and capital. These counties are Marion, Boone, Hamilton, Madison, Hancock, Shelby, Johnson, Morgan, and Hendricks. Indianapolis lives up to its title, "Crossroads of America." Indy is served by 13 interstate highways and 12 major airlines and one can reach 65% of the nation's population in a day's drive. This central location makes this region ideal for development and growth and enables companies to promptly reach their customers and suppliers.
Indy enjoys strengths in the service and retail sectors, as well as the manufacturing and distribution sectors. This economic diversity aids Indy in resisting the cyclical ups and downs of the market that many cities experience. In 2005, Site Selection ranked Indy sixth in the nation for top business climate and Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Indy the fifth best large city for entrepreneurs. Also, there are four major companies that are headquartered in Indy that Fortune has named among the 100 best companies to work for. For those companies wishing to relocate to Indy, there are two local organizations that can assist in this process. The Indianapolis Regional Small Business Development Center aids companies that have existed less than 10 years with their management and technical needs. Indy Partnership is a group that will help with employee training, expansion plans, and other needs.
The unemployment rate for Indianapolis is 4.8% and $36,465 is the average pay. The ACCRA Cost of Living Index shows a very attractive composite, with the cost of living about 8% lower than other comparable cities. Indy offers lower utility rates than comparable cities with some of the lowest monthly water and sewer costs, an average of 58.44% lower non-gas utility costs, and 19.27% lower gas utility costs. Home prices for the median income earners are some of the best values in the nation. Check out our Indianapolis homes for sale to see for yourself.
Indianapolis was considered one of the most conservative metros in the nation until the 1990's. However, Democrat Bart Peterson overcame the Republican Indiana Secretary of State in 1999 for the title of mayor. He was re-elected by a landslide in 2003, and is still currently the mayor. In 2003, the Republicans lost control of the City-Council by thirteen votes. In 2004, Democrats were put into the Treasurer, Surveyor, and Coroner spots. Republicans, however, still hold several offices, including Prosecutor, Clerk, Auditor, and Recorder.
Indy has adopted a consolidated city-county government named Unigov. Therefore, many of the government services of Indy have been merged with Marion County's services. For example, Indianapolis' mayor is also the mayor of Marion County. However, four communities remained outside of the arrangement - Southport, Speedway, Lawrence, and Beech Grove. These communities are still subject to Indianapolis laws, but they can impose a separate property tax. Mayor Bart Peterson introduced a new bill named Indianapolis Works that would further consolidate the local government. The final version consolidated budgetary functions. It also left room for the Marion County Sheriff's Department and the Indianapolis Police Department to be consolidated by a vote from the Indianapolis City-County Council. This bill also allows the Indianapolis Fire Department to consolidate with township fire departments by approval from all affected parties. At the end of 2005, the City-County Council passed a revised police consolidation that will begin in 2007.
Indianapolis has a rich cultural heritage. From Conner Prairie to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to the Indianapolis Children's Museum, there is something enjoyable for everyone. The Indianapolis government has tried to emphasize this diverse culture by designating specific areas known as "Cultural Districts." These districts are Broad Ripple Village, The Canal & White River State Park, Fountain Square, Indiana Avenue, Massachusetts Avenue, Monument Circle, the War Memorial Plaza, and the Wholesale District.
Watch a video about the Indianapolis Cultural Districts.
The elevation of Indianapolis is 645 - 910 feet above sea level and an area of 361 square miles. The terrain is fairly flat with a few rolling hills. The climate is temperate because of the even precipitation distribution throughout the year. The winters are frigid due to the northern polar air with an average of 26 degrees Fahrenheit in January. The summers are warm with an average temperature of 75 degrees in July. Annually, the average temperature is 52.1 degrees with the average precipitation at 23 inches of snow and 40 inches of rain.
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