Frequently Asked Questions
Projects are happening in Muncie's Central City that are the building blocks for economic and quality of life revival. These projects are strategically planned to create momentum, build needed tax base to help lift surrounding areas, and draw new investment.
Next Muncie will position Muncie as a top choice in Indiana to live and work. By focusing on developing urban housing, walkable districts, more public access to the White River, expanded education and workforce training opportunities, and extended tax base to help fund improvements in surrounding neighborhoods and new public spaces, Muncie will have an enhanced quality of life and will see benefits in people, place, and prosperity that will ripple across the entire city.
Vision statement: "Muncie will emerge as a vibrant city that attracts and retains residents and visitors by providing high-quality employment opportunities; by revitalizing neighborhoods that offer healthy lifestyle choices; and by fostering an innovative culture of entrepreneurship, education, healthcare, arts, entertainment, and recreation."
The Central City is both the hub of activity and catalyst for meaningful city transformation. It was defined via a thorough analysis of Muncie's diverse place-based assets in areas of environment, education, economy, and culture. Chosen focus areas all bear momentum, market feasibility, and partners that align with the central goal.
The Central City includes the Medical/Educational District, the White River Canal District, Downtown Main Street, the Connector Neighborhood, the Live/Learn Neighborhood, Eastern Greenway Redevelopment, the RACER Trust Site, Downtown Historical Residential Neighborhoods, and the Freight Yard District.
No. While downtown Muncie is included in Next Muncie, the Central City bounds go beyond just downtown. The Central City includes the Medical/Educational District, the White River Canal District, Downtown Main Street, the Connector Neighborhood, the Live/Learn Neighborhood, Eastern Greenway Redevelopment, the RACER Trust Site, Downtown Historical Residential Neighborhoods, and the Freight Yard District.
Next Muncie is led by a team of city leaders from Muncie's largest employers, city administration, and the public, private, and philanthropic sectors. These leaders are known and respected, have the ability to get things done, are passionate and optimistic about Muncie's future, and are Muncie-grown and invested. Many of the people and organizations on the leadership team have already been active partners in other recent Muncie initiatives, but now they are coming together to make decisions as a team to advance specific shared goals and strategic projects to create positive change in the community. Members of this committed leadership team have created this public-private-philanthropic partnership based on goals common to the city, businesses, cultural groups, and institutions-a shared vision designed to lift all.
The leaders include:
• Jeffrey C. Bird (co-chair), president of IU Health East Central Region;
• Geoffrey S. Mearns (co-chair), president of Ball State University;
• Jud Fisher, president and chief operating officer of Ball Brothers Foundation;
• Dennis Tyler, mayor of Muncie;
• Susan Carlock, vice president of business development and corporate relations for Mursix Corporation;
• Mark Hardwick, executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of First Merchants Corporation;
• Vicki Veach, executive director of Muncie Downtown Development Partnership.
• Kelly K. Shrock, president of The Community Foundation of Muncie and Delaware County;
• Jay Julian, president/CEO and chief economic development officer of the Muncie-Delaware County Chamber of Commerce; and
• Jeffrey Scott, chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College Muncie Campus.
Vandewalle & Associates is a planning and economic development firm that has been rebuilding cities and Midwest post-industrial economies for more than 30 years. Vandewalle & Associates was chosen for this project because of its expertise, experience, and previous successes. Vandewalle & Associates helped the East Central Indiana Regional Planning group conduct the tri-city Anderson/Muncie/New Castle area regional analysis in 2012. Vandewalle & Associates is also the planning and economic development firm responsible for the revitalization and transformation of the post-industrial downtowns of a number of similarly mid-sized Midwestern cities, such as Waterloo, Iowa; Moline, Illinois; Davenport, Iowa; and Peoria, Illinois.
The Medical/Educational District is considered the economic driver of the Central City. Institutions of higher education along with medical institutions can be some of the few stable private entities in inner cities. Not only are they the largest employers, anchored in place and continuing to grow here, they are also supporting initiatives that impact everyone in the community-not just healthcare workers, students, or academics. Quality healthcare is an essential factor for corporations looking to locate or expand in Muncie, as well as their ability to attract and retain top employees. Additionally, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital and Ball State University are the top two employers in the city.
Next Muncie is a redevelopment initiative backed by city leaders-the city's largest employers, philanthropic entities, city administration, the city's largest financial institution-who live and work in Muncie. These leaders are people who are committed to Muncie and who will be around for years to come, ensuring a stable foundation to all projects under Next Muncie. Plans will be advanced by carefully selected and community-invested project champions and are being strategically laid out by professional planners.
Some future projects include meeting consumer demand on housing; implementing sustainable transportation options; and creating public walkways and amenities. This site will keep a full list of ongoing and upcoming projects as they are announced.
Next Muncie will create an enhanced quality of life within the city. By targeting catalytic projects and initiatives that support a robust healthcare system, a comprehensive educational system, an integrated art scene, increased recreational opportunities, and diverse cultures and housing markets, Next Muncie aims to impact everyone in the community. As positive market changes, living and working opportunities, and other economic impacts created by Next Muncie ripple to all corners of the city, Muncie will continue to grow as a city you are proud to call home.
Next Muncie aims to attract new residents to increase the city's tax base rather than increasing taxes on current residents. Strategic plans for Next Muncie include developing a diverse housing market, complete with affordable single-family and multi-family units and quality options for young professionals and baby boomers; enhancing social and economic mobility for residents living in disadvantaged neighborhoods; and supporting a robust healthcare system across all ages and socio-economic statuses.
Part of the Central City vision is to put forth implementation strategies to address vacancy and blight in neighborhoods through a collaborative approach that will include not only the rebuilding of neighborhoods but an opportunity to teach and mentor Muncie's young people about building trades, architecture, constructions, and more.
Muncie has a rich history in manufacturing; this vision will continue advancing and supporting manufacturing industries in Muncie by supporting workforce training, building career pathways, and by providing quality workforce housing that allows manufacturers to attract and keep top workers.
The leadership team will prioritize and assign champions to initiatives and communicate all efforts to the city. While Next Muncie projects are already planned and have sufficient backing, the team is relying on Muncie residents to engage and contribute their tremendous energy and ideas as these transformations take place. For more information on projects, continue to check back here.