- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

WHITESTOWN, Ind. (AP) - Once a small town of 500 residents, the Boone County community of Whitestown has grown to 5,500 people in the last decade.

Whitestown, located about 20 miles northwest of downtown Indianapolis, is the fastest-growing community in Indiana and won’t slow down anytime soon, The Indianapolis Star (https://indy.st/1fqSryK ) reported.

New stores, parks, pools and other amenities are drawing more people to Whitestown. The community projects its population will reach 12,000 residents by 2020.

Local officials, who are trying to differentiate Whitestown from neighboring Zionsville, have a plan to manage the town’s growth and establish it as an ag-urban community of young professionals. They want it to be a community where people can grow up, raise their kids and retire near the city and lots of open fields.

“That’s what we’re trying to get to. A different kind of suburb, or ag-urb or whatever you want to call it. A different kind of place,” Town Manager Dax Norton said.

In 2010, Whitestown’s median household income was 28 percent higher than the state’s at $75,682. Last month, the town was ranked by RealtorMag as the seventh-best suburb in the U.S. to buy a home.

“It’s a young demographic because we’re relatively new. … People can come in and make a difference; they can meet new people,” Norton said.

Whitestown appeals to people who want to be close to Indianapolis but don’t want to deal with congestion in the area around Carmel and Fishers. And local officials want to ensure the fields and farms that surround the town stay there.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Pam Hill-Gibson, 49, whose family has lived in Whitestown for several generations. “There are still dirt roads not too far from here, but then you can still be Downtown in 20 or 25 minutes,” she said.

To prevent suburban sprawl, the town plans to attract smaller companies looking to establish headquarters and pay higher wages in a community where they can grow.

“Your people can live here. They can live here in different neighborhoods that provide a different housing product. You can move up,” he said. “And then you can retire in the Woodlands or at Golf Club of Indiana PUD in a house around the golf course.”

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, https://www.indystar.com

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