That startup energy is no accident. There are several big companies with operations within the city’s borders, such as student loan provider Navient and Roche Diagnostics, but local leaders have placed a special emphasis on creating and inviting more jobs to the community. Major redevelopment projects totaling $90 million downtown have made Fishers attractive to businesses looking to relocate. The city has also invested in Launch Fishers, a 52,000-square-foot coworking space that is designed to give entrepreneurs and tech startups a place to grow while also providing networking and business events.
The efforts are paying off: Moody’s Analytics projects 11.6% job growth in the city by 2021. Stanley Security just relocated its headquarters to Fishers in August, bringing 350 jobs with it, while high-tech company Memory Ventures singled out Fishers as its new home, moving to Indiana from California in 2015. Memory Ventures CEO Anderson Schoenrock says he was impressed by the tour community leaders gave him.
“It gave me a sense that the city was very committed to this vision of building a city around entrepreneurship and driving economic growth through entrepreneurs,” says Schoenrock. “It was incredibly unique and certainly not something I’d seen on the West Coast.”
But don’t expect all work and no play in this vibrant young city. The redeveloped downtown area boasts a number of restaurants and boutiques and a popular farmers’ market every Saturday that was recently voted one of Indiana’s best. (It doesn’t shut down in the winter, either—it just shifts to an indoor building.) The Nickel Plate District Amphitheater hosts summer concerts and movies, as well as cold-weather festivals in the fall and winter. And participating businesses display the work of local artists for an annual arts crawl.
Fishers has emphasized preserving its green space and features 24 parks and 104 miles of nature and multiuse trails. Flat Fork Creek Park offers the highest peak in Hamilton County—perfect for sledding during Indiana’s snowy winters.SOURCES: Synergos Technologies, realtor.com, Moody’s Analytics, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Education, and Witlytic. See full Best Places to Live methodology.