Can Do Neighborhood Initiative

I found this flyer at Yat’s at 54th and College. This looks like the same group that is working on the Uptown project; however, at a larger scale. I’ve commented on my mixed feelings on this project before, but I must admit that I’m a sucker for their optimism. The flyer includes a tiny rendering that is new to me, and it looks to be a larger building than is shown on the website. The older commercial building that faces 49th Street has been painted recently, which is interesting because I believe the developer plans to take it down.

It is interesting that they push for an IPD station at that corner for a couple of reasons:

  • IPD recently left their station at 42nd and College.
  • 49th and College is not a typically high-crime corner. I lived there for almost 2 years and never felt unsafe. Perhaps this is to battle perceptions as opposed to actual crime. A search into the city’s crime data for the past 90 days seems to confirm this, although there have been a few armed robberies in the area. However, there seem to be other areas of the city that are crying for an IPD post much more than 49th and College.

Overall, I admire the initiative to revive College Avenue’s nodes. I would be interested to see what would be discussed at the meetings.

Comments 5

  • This smells of the developer, who doesn't have a clue. He thinks of 49th & College as "blighted inner city".

    49th & College is blighted mainly because the developer has bought and allowed to sit vacant most of the block.

    Take it from someone who actually works and lives in the "blighted inner city": 49th & College is pretty far down the list of places that need an injection of scarce resources.

  • I’m definitely not a fan of letting a place sit vacant. I do hope that this project is not too heavy-handed.

  • anon @anonymous:

    Sometimes the best place to put resources are in areas that have not fallen too badly into disrepair, but where property values and commercial development are not too involved to stop the developer(s) from bringing some fresh thinking to the area.

    If you look at the renderings mentioned, they are basically talking about bringing a medium-density urban development at the principal nodes and making the whole corridor more pedestrian and transit friendly, maybe even privately bankrolling some kind of transit option(probably something tourist-y). This sounds like a very positive thing to me. Actually, creating corridors like this radiating out from the center city could revitalize many different areas. This could be the test case. I’m all for it as long as the developer doesn’t ask for money grants(I’m more amenable to tax abatement) and doesn’t ask the city to exercise eminent domain to accomplish the task. This is the sort of project I hope to be working on in 5 or so years.

  • Thanks for the comment speed.

  • Speed, College is already one of the most pedestrian-friendly corridors in Indianapolis, with lively and functioning business nodes at 38th, 42nd, 46th, 49th, 52nd, 54th, Kessler, Broad Ripple, 64th, 65th…

    A full blockface of medium-density there would be too much. At the corners, like at 52nd, which has residential over commercial on two corners, and at 54th where Fresh Market is, fine.

    That block-long thing would be far more appropriate in the Broad Ripple neighborhood on College at 63rd, 64th, or 65th or on Broad Ripple Avenue along the river near Applebees. Not in Meridian-Kessler.

    Incidentally, I agree with you about not letting a neighborhood get too far down. If a smaller redevelopment for only the corner convenience store and the old commercial building to its north had been proposed, that would probably have found much more support and funding.

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