Last night I attended the regular planning commission meeting and I cannot figure out for the life of me why new development has to be so dramatic and difficult in an underserved community. I watch as developers present solutions to our community one after another, open to suggestions and guided with conviction by a fantastic panel of commissioners but its just a painful process. I am hoping as Westfield grows as it is going to fast, we are able to accept the inevitable that more homes are going to show up, traffic is going to suck and farm ground is going to become big business. But I also want to break down why I think these new developments are important because I am not against growth and I am for progress at all levels.
- Commercial tax base – We need tax revenue! I do not care about Grand Park and no it is not going to save our spending souls. We need businesses to move their corporate headquarters here (why we cant attract them is confusing) and bring their employees with them. We need shops and products being made locally to not only provide needed services (tax collection sources) but also as regular multi level employers and jobs creators. These are necessary to a community’s successful development and we need to open the door for business.
- We need housing – I know we are full of ourselves and think if it’s less then $300,000 its not worth the space in our community, but that’s a bunch of crap. (My home would not be allowed in Westfield) The majority of homeowners in our community probably should be in that price point but better yet, the majority of our homeowners started out in that price point and I am super glad they were able to start in Westfield. One reason we may not be attracting corporate users is the lack of inventory for workers and employees. I can go to Carmel and find an apartment for $800 all the way up to a $5,000,000 estate. Same with Fishers and Noblesville and every other smart city. So I think acting like a less then custom product is not good enough for us is silly and instead taking the time to understand a plan and making Westfield an open door for anyone desiring to have the best schools and community around. This one really peals my grape!
- Emotions – Ya I understand that everyone is getting their feelings hurt and people want to attack anyone they don’t agree with, but that’s life. I would love to see a “down to business” atmosphere that doesn’t let false accusations slow a process or hinder anyone’s intent to do the right thing. Lets charge forward and leave the complainers behind. They will never make the right effort and lets face it, they are most likely incapable of doing that job. Go get those developers, work their plans, offer community suggestions and push through to let them do what they do best and that’s build and create cities. (Tax money)
- Communicate – Its really time we take the message to the streets. The days of acting like a discussion not being held on our terms is irrelevant are over. We must sell every single day the ultimate mission of good growth. I go to these meeting and there are 15 people there. We have like 36,000 residents. Seems like things have changed and the meeting is not the desired process for information. We have to as small business owner, residents and government send a regular message to the community of what is happening and what will come. Every board and commission has an audience that respects their task of working to make things better but without information it becomes ignored or only noticed when it negatively affects each of us personally. We have to sell sell sell! Like humans. Like leaders. Like people that want others to get involved and join the tribe.
We are ten years into being a city and so much has changed or been built or been planned and we couldn’t ask for a better opportunity. I hope that community members dive in and see how they can be involved and government reaches out and connects. It’s a beautiful thing when a community chases a common mission and Westfield could not be a better opportunity for this.
Curt has been in the Indianapolis Real Estate business for over 10 years and spent his first years learning all aspects of commercial management and brokerage. He has had great success in managing existing commercial projects and new retail and office developments. Curt specializes in building owner representation and purchases in the Westfield Indiana market as well throughout the Indianapolis Metro area. Curt is passionate about growing the local Westfield community and in his free time volunteers with Westfield Youth Assistance and raising 2 children with his wife Jennifer.