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Mass Ave. redevelopment project approved, Firefighters Credit Union to move

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By: Liz Gelardi

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 3, 2014) - Plans to relocate the Firefighters Credit Union received partial approval Wednesday night. The new building received approval, but a proposal to build a parking lot across the street was put on hold.

The $5 million project would move the Firefighters Credit Union from its current location at 501 North New Jersey Street. A new credit union would be constructed next to the IFD Museum and union hall located at 748 Massachusetts Ave. As part of the project, the union hall would be expanded 40 feet to allow for more offices.

The Historic Preservation Commission voted to approve the new credit union building and expand the union hall. The new building will be constructed on a current parking lot so original plans called for a new parking lot across the street. The commission agreed to revisit the proposed parking lot in October.

The Firefighters Credit Union relocation is tied to a major redevelopment project set for its current site. A developer has plans to build an apartment building in the 500 block of Mass Ave, also the current home of Fire Station 7 and IFD Headquarters. The credit union has to relocate to make room for the $43 million project.

Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Deron Kintner, said the city supports the credit union relocation. He points out the firefighters called Mass Ave. home long before it became a hip destination.

"So they have been here, have always been good neighbors and this is just continuing their tradition of doing what's right for the avenue and for the Chatham Arch Neighborhood in making this area desirable and attractive," said Deron Kintner, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development.

The Chatham Arch Neighborhood, Urban Design Committee and Mass Ave. Merchants Association supported the project. An architect and resident of the neighborhood designed the proposed parking lot at E. St. Clair Street and College Ave. The union purchased the property two years ago with the intent to use it for parking.