The latest Census figures tell us that the southern heart ofÂ Broad Ripple lost population last year:
Here is a look at new buildings that have been constructed in this region. Lines in red indicate a change from 2001 to 2011:
Not much going on here. A few new condos near the Monon Trail, but that’s about it.
Contrast this with the population gain in the northern half of Broad Ripple, which has added a good deal of apartments and condos in the past decade:
Here are the northern section”s new buildings. Note the concentration in the purple circle:
The differences between attitudes toward development displayed by the northern and southern halves of Broad Ripple make logical sense.Â The north’s houses are almost all converted into businesses, and more nearby residents mean more potential clients, with little need for them to worry about adding to their small parking footprints.Â The southern portion is dominated by owner-occupied single family housing.Â They are, in general, more fearful of change.Â More on that in a bit.
A big change to the development scene could be coming soon.Â Broad Ripple is looking to add a mixed-use parking garage.Â I don’t feel wonderful about promoting this idea, but a possible upside could arise for the parking lots scattered throughout the neighborhood.Â Posted below is a display of all of the parking lots in Broad Ripple.Â Think of these lots as a potential for development:
This means that, at least for the time being, we don’t have to knock down buildings or houses to increase the density in the neighborhood. Â The biggest issue with this is, of course, will the neighborhood actually support increases in density?Â Consider the case of the proposed Monon Place project.Â A mixed-use proposal of moderate density on an empty lot (as well as a non-historic structure) was vociferously opposed by a group known as the Greater Broad Ripple Community Coalition.Â This is a common theme in this area.Â Other projects in this section of the neighborhood have been fought against as well.Â Eventually the Buckingham proposal was approved by the MDC, but 2 1/2 years later, there have been no signs of life on the property.Â I’m unaware of any changes or updates at this time.
The 2010 Census proves that Broad Ripple needs to work on attracting new residents.Â Â Supporters of the city and neighborhood can use this important data to serve their cause.Â The final question from me is this: if we can’t increase density and vibrancy in the most well-known neighborhood in the city, where can we?