I’m a local businessman trying to make a difference. I publish magazines for a living. The Hamilton County Business Magazine is a business to business publication and Welcome to Hamilton County is a community guide distributed to local hotels, visitor’s centers and REALTORS.
I’ve lived in Noblesville for more than eleven years. My kids attended school here. My wife and I are currently restoring a 150-year-old house in Old Town. I enjoy that kind of work. I admire the craftsmanship that went into building these old homes and I see it as a privilege to update these structures in a sensitive way, respecting the original design and materials that make them unique.
I believe that Noblesville’s future is best secured by focusing on and improving our Old Town area: the courthouse square and surrounding neighborhoods. I realize most of the growth over the past couple of decades has been on the outskirts but that growth comes whether we want it or not. Farm land is relatively cheap and subdivisions are relatively easy to build. That business comes to us and we have to control it. But you find subdivisions everywhere. They aren’t unique.
On the other hand, our Old Town area is unique and it’s harder to develop. Whereas a developer can make a fortune on a subdivision, the infill required to improve Old Town is on a much smaller scale, which isn’t as financially appealing. Furthermore, you are often facing mistakes made by previous development. The ground often has to be cleaned up, neighbors have to be considered, titles are murky, the work is messy.
Yet, if you believe that an urban orientation (walkable, dense, multi-use, multi-level, multi-modal transportation) is more desirable than a suburban orientation (single use, single level, auto-oriented, sprawling), then you see how important it is that we maintain and invest in Old Town, even if it is more complicated and more trouble. Although we are a suburb of Indianapolis, Noblesville originally grew as its own urban center, the county seat. By reclaiming those urban values we can make sure we retain the best of Noblesville’s past as we plan its future.
Fortunately, there is a market for this kind of development. It is well documented that millennials and retiring baby boomers alike value that urban lifestyle: walkable streets and neighborhoods; work, live and play communities; shopping areas that are accessible by foot and bike as well as a car. So, if we focus on what made Noblesville great to begin with and steer development that way in the future, we will succeed in ensuring that Noblesville retains its best features for our kids.
That is what this website is all about: making sure that we pay attention to the important things and hold ourselves to high standards. If we do it wrong we end up living with our mistakes for generations, so it’s important we get it right. I want to help us make sure we get it right.