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Shop for groceries at Kroger and pick up some love for IDO

Want an easy way to support your favorite nonprofit, IDO? If you’re a Kroger shopper, all you have to do is register your Kroger Plus card on their website to donate to IDO – at no cost to you! Kroger changed their community giving program at the first of the year, so now every time you shop and swipe the card, you’ll be earning points for IDO. At the end of each quarter, Kroger will send IDO a portion of their total charitable donation, based on how many of those points IDO supporters have racked up. The more supporters who register their cards for IDO, the more groceries purchased, the bigger share of the $500,000 pie for IDO.

Registering is super easy (come on, I did it). Go to krogercommunityrewards.com, have your Kroger Plus card handy – you’ll need the long number under the barcode on the back – and follow the directions for a new account. Once you’ve registered, sign up with the Irvington Development Organization. Our Non Profit Organization Number is 11523.

Next step: Go stock up like you’re having a party for 100 people! Remember to use your Kroger Plus card every time you shop and renew your registration a year from now. That’s it. Easy-peasy.

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses.


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Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Plants Feet on East Washington Street

By Jason Hathaway

For years, Daniel “Chef Dan” Carter may have told you that opening his own restaurant was simply something he did not want to do. More than 30 years in food service, though rewarding, had shown him the commitments and extra-long hours required of those who wear the hats of both owner and chef. But, after four successful years of operating the popular Irvington-based food truck, Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort, with his wife Allison, his loyal and enthusiastic customers gradually wore down his resistance.

Chef Dan 2-J Hathaway

Chef Dan. Photo by Jason Hathaway.

 

“We had so much success with the food truck over the past four years and many customers told me that if we opened a restaurant, they would come out and support us,” Carter said. “So last year, we decided to go on a quest for locations. The great success we’ve had with the food truck at the Irvington Halloween Festival and other neighborhood events made us feel like Irvington was the place to do it. We live in Irvington, know the atmosphere is great here, and the business district is growing. We just want to be a part of that growth and promote the Historic Irvington feel.”

The Carters found exactly what they were looking for at 5539 E. Washington St., a space previously occupied by Roll With It Bakery. Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort restaurant opened for business the last week of February. Following a vibrant remodel, the new cafe takes patrons on a virtual trip to where the Mississippi River ends. The interior captures that New Orleans-Mississippi Delta feel, with features such as Mardi Gras bead-draped chandeliers, chalkboard menus and walls lined with rough-cut lumber. And, the food carries customers’ taste buds to southern comfort food heaven — a place where the flavors of Cajun, Creole and Mississippi soul food converge on a delightfully broad menu. Entrees range in price from $9 to $14 and include customer favorites such as alligator and shrimp po’boys, shrimp étouffée, jambalaya, pulled pork barbecue, and beignets.

Chef Dan 1-J Hathaway

Dedication to Chef Dan’s Grandmother. Photo by Jason Hathaway.

The menu items are a blend of recipes Carter learned from his mother and grandmother while growing up in Mississippi and others he picked up along the way — each one “cooked from the heart.”

“When you put your heart and soul into your cooking, it always adds that extra flavor that no one can figure out,” Carter said. “It makes people smile. I love to make people smile, to hear them say ‘Oh, wow!’ after they try my food. That alone is the reason why I’ll never stop cooking.”

Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort has experienced a steady flow of customers in its first few weeks, all eager for another taste of their old favorites from the currently dormant food truck and try some new specials. Allison Carter, co-owner and business manager of the restaurant, is pleased with the customer response she has seen thus far, as well as the reception from the Irvington business community.

“Just like the neighborhood, Irvington Development Organization and the Irvington Business Association have welcomed us with open arms. We benefit from the networking and information sharing these organizations provide and enjoy doing our part to make Irvington a great place to eat, shop and do business,” she said.

Business hours for Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays and 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, go to http://chefdansindy.com/

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses.


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Irvington Neighbor Spotlight: Writer, Shawndra Miller – Enjoying Nature in the City

Some would say that charming older homes, a vibrant history, and winding, tree-lined streets are the hallmarks of our neighborhood, but in any community, it’s the people who define its character. If you live or work in Irvington, most likely you know at least a handful of smart, creative, fun people — perhaps community leaders, restaurateurs, shopkeepers, servers, technicians, historians, artists, artisans, gardeners, builders, innovators, and caretakers. The following interview is the first in a series that highlights community members, whom you might or might not already know, and their thoughts about this neighborhood. Here is Irvington resident and writer Shawndra Miller talking about her connection with the neighborhood.

How long have you’ve lived and worked here?Shawndra & Marley

We moved to Irvington in late 1996, so almost 19 years ago. And since 2005 I’ve been freelancing, so I work here too — which my dog and cats appreciate as much as I do.

How did you first hear of Irvington and why did you move here?

The summer we were house hunting, acquaintances invited us to join them on their porch for drinks, and they told us all about the neighborhood. We fell in love with the old homes, beautiful tree canopy, and walkable, artsy, and friendly vibe — not to mention the affordability.

What do you do for fun?

I enjoy pretty much everything I do in my day-to-day activities, but for leisure time, it’s usually reading, connecting with friends over food (or food growing/gathering/preparation/preserving), or loving up my dog and cats. Low-key bicycling, foraging, and gardening are my outlets in warm weather. I love to bike around Irvington and pick mulberries, raspberries, and juneberries in season.

What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood?

I love to walk the golf course with my dog in winter. When I’m with friends it’s a big social affair, and when it’s just my dog and me, I can pretend I’m the lady of the manor strolling the grounds. It’s gorgeous out there in any kind of weather.

If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first?

I would assemble a team to fan out and do an asset inventory, going door to door to learn neighbors’ interests, passions, skills, and potentially any tools or equipment they’d be willing to share in a neighborhood exchange. Also, if enough people expressed interest, I’d start a neighborhood fruit gleaning initiative.
Shawndra’s blog, “Giving Voice to the World’s Remaking in an Age of Crisis,” can be found here:


Lend Your Voice for a Healthier Irvington
Community Health Logo

The major hospitals in the area, including Community East, are collaborating on a survey of the health needs of residents to guide their planning for their community benefit programs.  As not-for-profit health care providers they must work to address public health needs, and your input can help them determine what are the most critical issues in our community.  Please take a few minutes (took me less than  five) to give them your opinions on what matters most to you and your health.  The survey can be found here.


Irvington Post Office Update
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As we’ve reported before, the Irvington Post Office, LLC (made up of representatives of the Irvington Historical Society and the Irvington Development Organization) are looking for a buyer for the lot at the corner of Ritter Ave. and Washington St.  But not just any buyer.  They’ve developed criteria to evaluate the buyer’s intended use for the site and a process to follow to get all the necessary approvals (IHPC, lenders, etc.).  We’re very excited to report that there are already two credible purchasers for the property.  They each have the criteria and are preparing their proposals.  The committee looks forward to reviewing their ideas for the site and starting the process towards approval. In the meantime, they are considering a lease arrangement for a food truck to operate on the site until a successful purchaser closes on the property and starts construction.  Positive things are starting to happen after our devastating loss of the building.  Stay tuned for more developments.

Pennsy Trail Update

Pennsy Trail ImageThe city’s contracted foresters will start work the first week of March removing diseased or damaged trees or those directly in the way from Arlington to Ellenberger Park.  Yes, the trail is actually coming!  There was a recent meeting between the engineers for the Coal Factory development, Bonna Ave. rehabilitation, and the Pennsy to coordinate utility and other construction work in the right-of-way.  This is great because #1, they will minimize disruption and duplication and #2 all three of these projects are going to happen this year!!  It will truly be a transformation for Old Irv, our original downtown!

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses.


read more

Guest writer: Margaret Lawrence Banning:

 

 

 

kroger-logo-300x243Shop for groceries at Kroger and pick up some love for IDO

Want an easy way to support your favorite nonprofit, IDO? If you’re a Kroger shopper, all you have to do is register your Kroger Plus card on their website to donate to IDO – at no cost to you! Kroger changed their community giving program at the first of the year, so now every time you shop and swipe the card, you’ll be earning points for IDO. At the end of each quarter, Kroger will send IDO a portion of their total charitable donation, based on how many of those points IDO supporters have racked up. The more supporters who register their cards for IDO, the more groceries purchased, the bigger share of the $500,000 pie for IDO.

Registering is super easy (come on, I did it). Go to krogercommunityrewards.com, have your Kroger Plus card handy – you’ll need the long number under the barcode on the back – and follow the directions for a new account. Once you’ve registered, sign up with the Irvington Development Organization. Our Non Profit Organization Number is 11523.

Next step: Go stock up like a blizzard’s coming. Remember to use your Kroger Plus card every time you shop and renew your registration a year from now. That’s it. Easy-peasy.

 

Preserve our history and our property values

Just over 10 years ago Irvington residents petitioned the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission to make most of Irvington a protected district (see the map here for the exact boundaries). Irvington was considered to have significant architectural and historic assets that warranted such protection. For most of PortteusHouseus, that unique architecture and historical legacy is why we moved here and why we love it so dearly.

In that time our houses have been improved, our business district has flourished, and our property values have risen.

That protection means that we have a higher standard to meet whenever we’re making changes to the exterior of our buildings – that means yours and your neighbor’s house too! The plan is pretty long and might be tough for most of us to decipher (if you want to see for yourself), so what we encourage everyone to do is “Call before You Remodel/Build/Demolish/Hang a Sign/Or Just About Anything on the Outside of Your Building.” The rules can be confusing, for instance, you can paint your house whatever color you want, but not your commercial building, so call. Or email.

The staff is really easy to talk to. They want to help you with your project. They’re not out to play “gotcha” so you don’t have to call from a pay phone and say, “I have a friend who’s thinking of adding a porch…” They’re not out to cost you a bunch of money, but yes, the permits and approvals can be an added expense to your project. They want you to do it right the first time and will help you through the process.

Call: 317-327-4406
Email: kerry.watson@indy.gov  Website: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DMD/IHPC/Pages/home.aspx

 

GE DIGITAL CAMERAThinking of a Face Lift?

No, Irvington isn’t getting a new plastic surgeon. But speaking of exterior improvements! The Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) has just released their application for the 2015 Façade Improvement Grants. If awarded, the grant can reimburse eligible commercial projects at 50% of the costs for improvements to the front of the building (includes paint, repairs, windows and signage) up to $20,000. Any business property in the city is eligible so it’s very competitive. This year there is no application deadline, but you do need to complete the work in the 2015 calendar year. Contact Margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org or 317-260-0669 if you have questions.

 

Floating in the Coal Factory?

float-isopod-floatation-tank-womanA Place to Float has a tentative agreement to locate in Irvington’s new development, the Coal Factory, and will become the second floatation spa in Indianapolis. Rest and relaxation, pain management and heightened creativity are some of the benefits people Royal Spa Float Tank-Malehave experienced from float sessions. The owners expect to open later this year but are still recruiting investors.

You can find out more about A Place to Float here. If you have questions or want to know how you can get more involved with this project, contact Aaron Douglas.

 

Updates on the Coal Factory

Coal Factory RenderingAnd speaking of that exciting new development coming to the heart of Irvington, work has been progressing through these cold months with the finalization of the architectural, engineering, and utility plans. It just doesn’t look like much has been going on from the outside. Monthly updates will be given near the beginning of every Historic Irvington Community Council meetings on the third Tuesday of every month through the summer. February 17 will be the next meeting at 7:00 pm in the basement of the Irvington Presbyterian Church, 55 Johnson Ave.

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses.


read more

Guest writers: Sarah Evans and Tammi Hughes; Photo courtesy of East 10th Street Civic Association:

In addition to informing our readers about news and happenings in Irvington, IDO is intentional about highlighting the good news that is occurring with other eastside community groups and neighborhoods. This post is a reprint from the most recent East 10th Street Civic Association newsletter. Such an exciting development!

The East 10th Street Civic Association is partnering with Stenz Corporation in the development of Dorman Square located in the Cottage Home neighborhood. The E10SCA has received $450,000 in a combination of Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Home Investment Partnerships (HOME) funds from the City of Indianapolis to supplement and enhance the community’s development.

 Dorman Square is located at the southeast corner of 10th and Dorman Streets and will feature a mix of residential and commercial properties. Fourteen custom-designed, environmentally-conscious single-family homes and town homes are planned for Dorman and Stillwell Streets. Lot prices for the homes start at $35,000.Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 12.07.11 PM

A mixed-use development will front the site along East 10th Street. The E10SCA received $300,000 in HOME Funds to supplement the development of a combination of market rate and affordable homeownership.

“The East 10th Street Civic Association is proud to be a partner with Stenz Corporation. Effective community economic development is at its best when the private, public and non-profit sectors collaborate and bring creative resources and roles to the table, restyling in an innovative product,” says E10SCA Executive Director Tammi Hughes.

The $150,000 in CDBG funds that the E10SCA received will assist with infrastructure improvements and trail amenities to enhance the southern leg of Pogue’s Run Trail along East 10th Street from Dorman to Stillwell. The E10SCA is exploring a variety of creative placemaking elements.

With a mixture of price points and types of housing, the Dorman Square development sets a precedent for the Near Eastside in terms of a non-profit and a for-profit business working collaboratively to offer a variety of options for home ownership and retail development.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with the East 10th Street Civic Association, whose holistic approach to revitalizing East 10th Street has helped guide the Dorman Square project from the start. Their experience and leadership in working with the various local stakeholders has been invaluable,” says Beau Ansty of Stenz Corporation.

Construction on the residential properties is currently underway, with the East 10th Street work set to start in 2015.

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About Irvington Development Organization

Irvington Development Organization, founded in 2002, works for the benefit of Irvington by cultivating positive business development, promoting the unique character of our neighborhood and enhancing the quality of life for residents and visitors. Irvington is a historic community on the East Side of Indianapolis known for its winding, tree-lined streets and architecturally significant homes and businesses.


read more


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