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Carmel ( ) is a city in Hamilton Countymarker, Indianamarker, United Statesmarker. The population was 37,733 at the 2000 census but has been growing very rapidly. In 2007, a special census recorded the city population at 68,677.

Carmel is one of many affluent edge cities on the North side of Indianapolismarker. Until 1874, the settlement where present day Carmel now sits was called Bethlehem. Today, the plot first established in Bethlehem, located at the intersection of Rangeline Road and Main Street, is marked by a clock tower, donated by the local Rotary Clubmarker in 2002.

In 1924, one of the first automatic traffic signals in the United Statesmarker was installed at the intersection of Main Street and Range Line Road. The signal that was installed was the invention of Leslie Haines and is currently in the old train station on the Monon.


Carmel is located at (39.972917, -86.107877) .

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46.4 km²), of which, 17.8 square miles (46.1 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.61%) is water.

Major East-West streets in Carmel generally end in a 6, and include 96th Street (the Southern border), 106th, 116th, 126th, 131st, 136th and 146th (the Northern Border). The numbering system is aligned to that of Marion and Hamilton counties. Main Street (131st) runs East-West through Carmel's Art & Design District; Carmel Drive runs East-West through a main shopping area; and City Center Drive runs East-West near Carmel's new City Center project.

North-South streets are not numbered, and include (West to East) Michigan, Shelborne, Towne, Ditch, Spring Mill, Meridian, Guilford, Range Line, Keystone, Carey, Gray, Hazel Dell, and River. Some of these roads are continuations of corresponding streets within Indianapolis. Towne Road replaces the name Township Line Road at 96th Street, while Westfieldmarker Boulevard becomes Rangeline north of 116th Street. Meridian Street (US-31) and Keystone Avenue (IN-431) are the major thoroughfares, extending from (within Carmel) I-465 in the south and merging just south of 146th Street.

This photo displays the city's burgeoning Arts & Design District.


As of the census of 2000, there were 37,733 people, 13,597 households, and 10,564 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,118.4 people per square mile (818.0/km²). There were 14,107 housing units at an average density of 792.0/sq mi (305.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.63% White, 1.47% African American, 0.14% Native American, 4.38% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.46% from other races, and 0.89% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.72% of the population.

Recent estimates (2005) indicate a substantial growth of population and housing. According to a special census in 2005, the results of which were shown in the Carmel Star, there were an estimated 80,000 people living in Carmel.

There are 13,597 households of which 43.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.3% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.3% were non-families. 18.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.16.

In the city the population was spread out with 30.2% under the age of 18, 4.8% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 9.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $94,128, and the median income for a family was $110,549. Males had a median income of $70,618 versus $38,917 for females. The per capita income for the city was $38,906. About 1.6% of families and 2.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.5% of those under age 18 and 2.2% of those age 65 or over.


The government consists of a mayor and a city council. The mayor is elected in citywide vote. The city council consists of seven members. Five are elected from individual districts. Two are elected at-large.


Carmel Monon Center

A new water park and mega-fitness center located in Carmel's Central Park opened in 2007. The Outdoor Aqua Park consists of two water slides, a drop slide, a diving board, a lazy river, and a kiddie pool. The fitness center consists of an indoor lap pool, a recreation pool with its own set of water slides, gymnasium, 1/8 mile indoor running track, and the Kids Zone childcare.

Flowing Well

Just north of 116th Street between Gray Road and Hazel Dell Parkway is Flowing Well Park, which contains a natural artesian well that provides high quality drinking water.
Carmel's newly-established Arts and Design District, designed to promote small business.
This new district is located about a mile and a half west of Carmel High School.

Monon Trail

The Monon Trailmarker is a bicycle trail that is part of the Rails-to-Trails movement. It runs from 10th street, near downtown Indianapolismarker, through Broad Ripplemarker, and then crosses into Carmel at 96th Street, and extends into Westfield. In the future, it is planned to run all the way to Sheridanmarker. In January 2006 speed limit signs of 15 to have been added to sections of the trail north of 96th Street.

Carmel City Center

Carmel has begun construction of its Carmel City Center project near Carmel's Arts and Design District. It will feature of retail space and restaurants, of office space, 300 penthouses and apartments, a 102-room boutique hotel, a 500-seat performing arts theater, an outdoor amphitheater, and a 1,600-seat performance hall.




Several large companies reside in Carmel such as the National Headquarters for Conseco, Midwest ISO, and Pearson Education (formerly MacMillan Publishing), as well as the headquarters of ITT Technical Institute.[17213] It is also home to many mid-sized and smaller companies.

Current Issues


The City of Carmel has annexed large portions of Clay Townshipmarker in the past and is pressing forward to annex more in the south-west area.In 2004, Carmel City Council first tried to annex an area that included more than 3,400 properties. Shortly after that initiative, an organization called No Ordinance for Annexation, or NOAX, worked to challenge the annexation in court. NOAX collected 70% of the homeowners' signatures in a petition allowing for a challenge in court. NOAX and Mayor James Brainard were able to negotiate a deal to delay annexation for three years and provide the maximum tax abatements allowed under Indiana law and road and infrastructure improvements.A second group, Holton's Southwest Clay Community Association, asserted that Carmel shouldn't annex south-west Clay Townshipmarker. Holton's Southwest Clay Community Association argued that NOAX didn't have authority to strike a deal on behalf of all Clay township homeowners and took the City of Carmel to Court.Due to the ramifications of the decision for other Indiana communities, the case skipped the Indiana Appeals Court and went straight to the Indiana Supreme Court. The Indiana Supreme Court delivered a unanimous 5-0 decision ruling that Carmel can continue with its annexation. Holton's Southwest Clay Community Association recently reported that an appeal is "possible, but not probable."


The Keystone Avenue Project is a formidable road construction plan by the city of Carmel to make Keystone Avenue a signal-free road, utilizing roundabout interchanges. This development has been underway since 2008. Interchanges at 106th, 126th, and 136th Streets are completed as of September, 2009. The project is scheduled to be completed in 2010. [17214] The city has gained noteriety for its innovative use of roundabout


The City of Carmel assumed ownership of a stretch of Keystone Avenue within Hamilton County and is currently rebuilding the road with roundabout interchanges onto major arteries. On September 6, 2007, the State of Indiana and the Indiana Department of Transportation came to an agreement to give Carmel control of State Road 431, known as Keystone Avenue, and $90 million to reconstruct the intersections of 96th Street to U.S. 31.


Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard’s plan for Keystone Avenue is threefold:
  • To make traffic flow more smoothly down the road
  • To make cross streets move more efficiently
  • To make Carmel safer and more walkable
As the construction continues into 2010, Keystone will have above-ground roundabout interchanges at 106th, 116th, 126th, 131st and 136th Streets, as well as Carmel Drive, located between 116th and 126th.Compared to the Indiana Department of Transportation’s (INDOT) plan which called for removing 13 structures, including homes and churches, Brainard’s and Carmel’s plan will affect only one business building. INDOT’s plan utilized circular roundabouts, while the city’s plan makes use of a dumbbell shape, which will use less space. The project makes Keystone Avenue a free flowing, signal-free road from 96th Street to U.S. 31.


Construction is currently underway for the 116th street interchange. The Carmel Drive intersection will be under construction in late 2009 followed by 131st in mid-2010.Parade Magazine (9/27/09)noted the city's innovation for developing a 100 mile bicycle network ("Access Bikeway") to allow safe bicycling for its residents.

Carmel City Center

The Carmel City Center is a $300 million dollar multi-use complex currently being built in downtown Carmel. The City Center will contain residence, retail, dining, office and recreational/performance spaces. Started in 2007, the project is projected to be completed in 2010. The project is led by the City of Carmel in affiliation with Pedcor Company, based in the city. Businesses and shops will be able to open in the building soon after completion of construction while leasing residents will be able to move in after the official opening. Controversy surrounds the use of public tax dollars to fund essentially private enterprise

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