$84 million committed to three Indy neighborhoods through Great Places 2020 initiative

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Update: Tuesday night, we got a sneak peak at what three Indy communities could look like in the future. The Great Places 2020 project gives neighborhoods already working to better themselves a little extra help. Ten neighborhoods applied and three were chosen.

The 38th Street and Illinois Street submission is now branded Maple Crossing.

The Maple Crossing crowdfunding project will raise funds for the Indy Steelers youth football team. Support will provide practice equipment such as tackling dummies, speed sled and resistance bands, as well as some operational costs to continue to the program, enter tournaments and travel. Click here for more on this project.

The next winning neighborhood is Michigan Street and King Avenue, now called River West. Their crowdfunding project will raise funds to build a multi-generational art park where Indy’s young people can gather to observe and appreciate public art and engage in mind-stimulating activities. More on the River West project can be found here.

The third winner was Washington Street and Oxford Street, now called Englewood Village. They aim to raise funds to add an outdoor fireplace and interactive discovery wall to the Englewood Nature Playspace and Gardens. Click here for more on this project.

These neighborhoods have been working for a year to create these plans.

Original Story:

Indianapolis, Ind. –  People living in three neighborhoods in Indianapolis will find out Tuesday how their communities will transform in the coming years.

Great Places 2020 gives a neighborhood already working to better itself the leg up it needs.

“These are all neighborhoods that have been working over the last several years to organize themselves through quality of life plans and based on that, they came forward and said, we think we are uniquely prepared to really drill down and create this strong center for our community,” said Bill Taft, Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation in Indianapolis.

A group of nearly 50 community civic leaders reviewed applications from ten neighborhoods and picked the areas of West Michigan and King, East Washington and Oxford, and 38th and Illinois.

Check out video updates on each area here.

“Over the last year, each of these three neighborhoods have worked with consultants as well as hundreds of neighborhood residents, churches, organizations and businesses to set out to create a very specific plan for how to create a strong neighborhood center.”

Those plans will be revealed Tuesday from 4-6 p.m. at James Whitcomb Riley School #43.

“It’s physical development of new buildings, attracting new businesses, creation of new parks and greenspace, job training for new residents, better quality schools, a wide range of things both on the physical and human development side of the agenda for each of these neighborhoods.”

“In the plan 2020 process a year ago, the city identified the need for mixed-use neighborhood villages as something that Indianapolis lacked. Each one of these plans for Great Places is actually creating a neighborhood village center for each one of those three neighborhoods that would be walkable, that people would want to live near, would want to spend time shopping in, to spend time recreating in.”

“Most neighborhoods had those at one time. They were lost over the years and this is bringing that back and it’s clearly something that people increasingly want to see in our city.”

The goal is to spur urban revitalization by addressing challenges of high levels of pollution and obesity, high unemployment and poverty rates, population loss to neighboring counties and low graduation rates.

“Each of these plans are laid out as short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals. The short-term goals will happen in the next couple of years. The mid-term goals we would anticipate being done by 2020, the bicentennial of this city. And the long-term goals will be more like ten to 15 years. A lot of the more extensive physical development will take longer to happen.”

Taft says they hope to add more neighborhoods in the next year.

At the event Tuesday evening, a short program will start at 5 p.m. and will include the unveiling of each neighborhood’s new branding identity and strategic plan, remarks from Mayor Joe Hogsett, announcement of neighborhood crowdgranting projects and 3D visuals of the strategic plans.  Parking is available at School 43, MLK Community Center and Tarkington Park.

Six implementation partners are collaborating to implement aspects of Great Places 2020. They are the City of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership, Indy Chamber, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Local Initiatives Support Corporation Indianapolis, and United Way of Central Indiana.

Sponsors are funding Great Places 2020. They are JPMorgan Chase Foundation, BMO Harris Bank, Buckingham Foundation, Central Indiana Community Foundation, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Metropolitan Board of REALTORS and Reconnecting to Our Waterways.

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