For immediate release
Linda Muskin, 847-432-7300
Mara Conklin, 847-816-9411
Greenfield, Ind. – (May 14, 2019) – Four “nodes” along Mount Comfort Road, from New Palestine to McCordsville, will make up the “Mount Comfort Corridor” driving the vision under consideration by Hancock County business and government leaders following the release of a study by the Urban Land Institute (ULI). The four nodes along the 13-mile stretch include McCordsville, Hancock Health Center, Cumberland and New Palestine. These nodes eventually will include beautiful town gateways, walkable town centers and quality-of-life amenities that attract both businesses and residents.
“The Mount Comfort Corridor is in an enviable position right now to proactively plan for the growth we know is coming,” said Randall Sorrell, executive director of Hancock Economic Development Council, and a member of the Coalition for Smart Growth, a group of business leaders advocating for thoughtful growth in the Mount Comfort Corridor. “We know that people and businesses invest in locations based on the quality of place, so the vision of the Coalition is to thoughtfully plan areas that are attractive places to live, work and recreate.”
The ULI study identified several opportunities for optimizing growth in the corridor:
- Upgrading Mount Comfort Road as a boulevard with landscaped rights-of-way, roundabouts at major intersections, high-quality lighting, consistent signage, and a trail system that provides opportunities to walk and bike.
- Making stunning “first impressions” at town and corridor gateways with landscaping, public art and high-quality signage.
- Focusing economic development efforts to take advantage of the area’s rural heritage and convenient location, including agri-tech, agri-tourism, animal biomedical and advanced manufacturing.
- Allowing each node to focus on the unique aspect of the location. For example, leveraging the I-70 interchange and Hancock Health’s facilities to attract higher quality business amenities, such as a hotel, conference center and sit-down restaurants.
- Encouraging new residential, commercial and mixed-use development in the four nodes, including a mix of housing that will attract a broader range of residents and talent. Cluster development, cottages and bungalows, agrihoods, and other housing alternatives will be considered.
“All of the building blocks are falling into place in Hancock County to ensure these corridor communities will be importers of jobs and great places to live,” said Michael Burrow, president of NineStar Connect, which provides utility infrastructure solutions to the area, including urban-grade fiber connectivity. “Already, Hancock County is the most wired county in the state.”
ULI has long been recognized as one of the world’s most respected and widely quoted sources of objective information on community land-use planning, growth and development. Its Advisory Services program deploys teams of experts to help find creative, practical solutions for issues such as downtown development and redevelopment, land management strategies, evaluation of development potential, growth management and community revitalization. Sponsors of the study included Hancock County Commissioners; the towns of McCordsville, Cumberland and New Palestine; NineStar Connect; Hancock Health; Greenfield Banking Company; Hancock County Redevelopment Commission; Mt Vernon Community School Corporation; Hancock County Economic Development Corporation; Hancock County Community Foundation; Indy Partnership; BAGI Hancock County Builder’s Council; Vectren; Duke Energy; and Aqua Indiana. Details of the study recommendations can be found at http://hancockedc.com/connectivity.