If you’re a Kroger shopper, you can prompt — at no cost to you — donations to IDO every time you shop.  All you have to do is register your Kroger Plus card on Kroger’s website and choose IDO as your Community Rewards recipient.  At the end of each quarter, Kroger sends us a portion of its total charitable donation, based on how many of those points IDO supporters have racked up. The more supporters who register their cards for our cause, the more groceries purchased, the bigger share of the $500,000 pie for IDO.

You do need to renew your registration every year or your purchases no longer count toward IDO’s portion of the donation. Right now, 15 families are signed up. We know there are more than 15 Irvington supporters who shop at Kroger, so please take these few simple steps to support IDO.

Have your Kroger Plus card handy (you’ll need the long number under the barcode on the back), go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com, and follow the directions for a new account.  Once you’ve registered, choose Irvington Development Organization as your Community Rewards recipient.  Our Non Profit Organization Number is 11523.

Then go stock up like an ice storm’s coming!  Remember to use your Kroger Plus card every time you shop and renew your registration a year from now.

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IDO helped Simply Divine Cupcakes and Indy Cycle Specialist (ICS) obtain façade grants from Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), an organization that works with local leaders to invest in housing, health, education, public safety, and employment. The façade grants program helped Simply Divine Cupcakes put a fresh new look on its new bakery and brought funds to ICS for purchase and installation of a new door that allows customers and staff to more easily manage bikes coming and going at ICS. “It was rewarding to help a new business with their first bricks-and-mortar location (see previous profile) and to support a long-time regional destination business in Irvington,” said IDO Executive Director Margaret Banning.

IDO also helped Antique Mall of Irvington by Jack and Jill obtain a facade grant to repair and rehabilitate their building at 5501 East Washington Street. The 103-year-old building experienced a partial collapse in September 2016. IDO is working with Paul Diebold, Irvington Historical Society (IHS) in also applying for an Indiana Landmarks grant for the building.

LISC offers a 50% matching grant to eligible businesses that invest in exterior improvements.  Over the last eight years, IDO has helped bring over $180,000 to the community, leveraging an additional $425,000 in private investment, to assist local businesses and improve the visual appeal of our commercial district.

The city-wide grants are very competitive. IDO endorses the projects and helps business owners

complete the applications. When façade grants are approved, IDO facilitates business owners working with the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) for their permits (for those businesses that operate in the historic district) and serves as the fiscal agent for the funds.

The next round of grants are now available through September. You can find information and the grant  application at LISC Indianapolis.

If you’re an Irvington bricks-and-mortar business owner considering a facade upgrade, contact Margaret (317-260-0669 or margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org) about this program.

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2017 is shaping up to be a terrific year for music right here in Irvington. In addition to open stages at 10 Johnson Avenue, Sweet Thursday Jazz at Coal Yard Coffee, First Fridays, and more, Irvington Summer Music Series will run from May through September 2017. Featuring two events each month, the series schedule offers an eclectic array of styles and genres. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s coming.


Irish & Celtic Music: Friday, May 5, 7 p.m., $10, Bona Thompson Center
Tibetan Crystal Bowls: Sunday, May 21, 4 p.m., $10, Bona Thompson Center
Irvington Children’s Festival: Saturday, June 3, 1 p.m., free, Irvington Branch Public Library
Third Annual Juneteenth Celebration: Friday, June 16, time TBD, free, Downey Avenue Christian Church. Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
Blue Alchemy: Saturday, July 8, time TBD, free, Irving Circle Park
An additional free July event will be announced soon.
The Roundups: Saturday, August 5, time TBD, free, Irving Circle Park
An additional free August event will be announced soon.
Carmel Conservatory Quartet: Sunday, September 10, 3 p.m., $10, Bona Thompson Center. The quartet will perform selections by Russian classical composers.
Blue Collar Bluegrass and Flatland Harmony Experiment: Saturday, September 23, 7 p.m., TBD, Irvington Ice and Coal


Communications/marketing volunteers

Most importantly, organizers need a few people with skills in marketing and promotion to take over the social media and advertising needs for the series. If you have skills in any of these areas and would like to help make this series successful (and earn the dying gratitude of your neighbors), please let us know as soon as possible. Contact Stan Denski at standenski@gmail.com.

Event volunteers

Volunteers are needed to help set up and tear down equipment for each show, as well as answer questions, help with directions, tickets, parking, and so on. If you’d like to help out, contact Stan Denski at standenski@gmail.com.


Irvington Summer Music Series is made possible with funding provided by Historic Irvington Community Council. Individual and business sponsorships are also available. Please contact Stan Denski at standenski@gmail.com for sponsorship details.

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Some members of our neighborhood have all types of exotic and rustic animals; you’ll find chickens, donkeys, and, with Tyler Sheller, even a horse! Well, not exactly a horse, more like a Great Dane. (But he’s as big as a horse!) Tyler is actively involved with a local group, Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue, and his dog Bruno plays a big part.

Acting as both the Marketing and Fundraising Coordinators for the nonprofit rescue — which serves Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Southern Michigan, and parts of Wisconsin — Tyler utilizes his background in marketing and advertising to spread awareness of and raise money for Forever Friends. But Tyler has more than just a background in branding; having grown up with these gentle giants (Tyler’s parents have owned and raised Great Danes for almost 40 years), he has a background in the breed itself.

The goals of Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue are to educate the public about the breed, promote adopting a companion vs. shopping for a dog, and to help deserving Great Danes find their loving forever homes. As a completely volunteer-run organization, the rescue relies on donations, promotions, and partnerships with local businesses to cover the medical costs of the dogs in their foster care.

Tyler and Bruno have made numerous appearances on TV promoting the rescue through such programs as Indy Style, the News at Noon on WISH-TV 8, and Pet Pals TV with the delightful Patty Spitler. Bruno’s larger-than-life appearance and personality always steal the show, while Tyler tries to get a word in about Forever Friends and educating the public about Great Danes.

Tyler’s happy to see many Great Danes in Irvington and encourages dog lovers of all types to get involved in rescue. You can learn more about Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue at their website, and like them on Facebook for the latest updates on available dogs, events, and fundraisers.

How long have you lived and/or worked in Irvington?

In Irvington-terms, Tyler has been a resident of our community for a very short time:  2 years this summer.

What do you do for fun?

Besides working with Forever Friends Great Dane Rescue, Tyler enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and horseback riding. He also has a branding and design business, which keeps him busy when he’s not horsing around with Bruno.

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

Living near Ellenberger Park, Tyler enjoys biking along the Pleasant Run Trail and joining that with the Pennsy. Along that route, you’ll see everything from bustling business corridors to adorable donkeys!

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

The first thing Tyler would accomplish, as Mayor of Irvington, would be to put in speed bumps all along Washington.  Apparently, per Tyler, people think they’re at the Speedrome while going up and down that street!

What’s your connection to IDO?

First getting involved with IDO through the Real Estate Committee, Tyler has also joined the Communications committee and created the branding for last year’s IDO Harvest Gala with Tyner Pond Farm.

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Recently, we were notified that 61 Indiana applicants competed for this year’s IHCDA rental housing tax credit awards and only 16 projects were chosen. Unfortunately, the Coal Yard Lofts project did not receive this award, but Third Street Ventures intends to apply for the tax credits again in fall 2017. Note that the terms rental housing tax credits (RHTCs) and Section 42 tax credits are interchangeable.

In the interim, Third Street will continue its due diligence in anticipation of purchasing the property, including the necessary environmental assessment and remediation.

The April 5 hearing before the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission will likely be continued to some future date. Further updates will be posted in our newsletter and on our website as details are finalized.

Though we are disappointed the project was not funded in the first round, which is not unusual, we look forward to positive development happening on the site in the near future.

If you’re interested in reading the award announcement from Lt. Governor Suzanne Crouch, finding additional information about the tax credit program, gaining insight on how the projects were scored, or checking out proposals from the award winners and competitors, see the IHCDA’s announcement.

In October 2016, Third Street Ventures announced their intention to develop the property at 5543 Bonna Avenue. In November 2017, the IDO board voted to enter a partnership with Third Street Ventures. Additional details of proposals, community meetings, and FAQs are available in a series of blog posts at www.irvingtondevelopment.org/blog.

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