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$30 Million Deal will bring New Gateway to Near Westwide

A collaborative effort creates a new corridor for Near West neighborhoods In a three-way partnership between Lilly Endowment, the City of Indianapolis and Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), the Near Westside will be better connected to the university and Downtown. Michigan and New York streets will be transformed into two-way thoroughfares through IUPUI’s campus and across the river into Haughville, Stringtown and Hawthorne. The City will invest $10 million to pay for road construction on and around campus, using funds from the Downtown tax increment financing (TIF) district. Opening up the Near Westside will make these neighborhoods more appealing … Continued

LISC Indianapolis Invests $280,000 in Local Small Businesses

Grants will be used to revamp small business commercial facades throughout Indianapolis LISC has awarded matching grants to 35 local businesses through its Small Business Façade Improvement Program. This year’s commitments total $280,000 and are helping to leverage over $1.2 million in total building and façade improvements. Doubled support by the City of Indianapolis provided the financial capital for 13 additional awards over last year’s total, strengthening the program’s overall impact. Other sponsors include Chase, State Farm and the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. The Small Business Façade Improvement Program is one of the largest, well-established façade initiatives in the country focusing on small … Continued

Historic Central State: Bringing New Life to a New Neighborhood Landmark

Plans to revitalize Central State Hospital finally become reality Central State Hospital, created in 1827, once cared for nearly 3,000 patients on its 140 acre grounds. Funding cuts led to the hospital’s closure in 1994 and the site has been vacant and in deteriorating condition ever since. Its revitalization has been a centerpiece of the Near West neighborhood Quality of Life plan. The continued push by neighborhood residents and community leaders has begun to yield results. LISC is helping to renovate the former Central State Hospital site on West Washington St. with a $3 million construction loan to development firm Reverie Estates. The … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: Diane Arnold

For Diane Arnold, executive director of Hawthorne Community Center, the Hawthorne neighborhood on Indianapolis’s Near Westside isn’t just where she works—it’s where she lives. It’s where her family lives. And it’s a community she’s been working to improve for more than 40 years. Diane’s roots at the Hawthorne Community Center began with her mother accepting the position as executive director more than four decades ago. At the time, the Hawthorne Community Center was little more than an informal rec center, providing kids and families a safe place to play and congregate. Since then, Hawthorne Community Center has taken tremendous strides … Continued

New Urban Greenhouse Farm will grow a Million Pounds of Local Produce

WHO:  Mayor Greg Ballard, Lieutenant Governor Susan Ellspermann, Congressman André Carson, Gina Sheets, Director of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture,Phil Votaw, Executive Director of the Westside Community Development Corporation Paul Lightfoot, CEO of BrightFarms WHAT:  Announce plans for a state-of the art hydroponic greenhouse farm. WHEN:   Monday, July 15, 2013   3:00-4:30pm WHERE:  The Platform, East Wing of City Market – 202 East Market Street BACKGROUND: Led by the WCDC, the area near the site of this greenhouse farm has become a redevelopment hub, connecting commercial revitalization to residents of the community. BrightFarms 100,000 square foot farm will create up to 25 green … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: Ken Morgan – Visionary Project: 500 Place

Ken Morgan has deep roots in Indianapolis. And an area of Indianapolis that’s particularly important to Ken is Indiana Avenue—the city’s most historically significant African-American district. It’s where he spent part of his childhood, where he was a student, minister, and lawyer, and where he first became involved in the world of community development. In the 1980s, most of the historic buildings that populated Indiana Avenue in its heyday of the ‘30s and ‘40s were gone. But one of the few remaining ones, the iconic Madame Walker Theatre, is where Ken got his first taste of community development. “The Madame … Continued

Neighborhood Visionary: Judge’s BBQ

Judge’s BBQ isn’t your average barbecue joint. But it’s not just the amazing food that sets Judge’s apart. It’s also the story of one man’s passion for barbecue, and how it helped bring hope and revival to one of Indianapolis’s most challenged neighborhoods. For Judge Smith, the desire to cook started as a young man. As one of twelve children, he learned early on that if you want to eat well in big family, you either get to dinner early or you learn to cook for yourself. Judge chose to cook. But it wasn’t until 2001, when Judge and his … Continued