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Coal Yard Development Slows Following Tax Credit Announcement

Posted by on Mar 26, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Coal Yard Development Slows Following Tax Credit Announcement

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...

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February Neighbor Spotlight: Andrea De Mink

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, Featured, Irvington News | 1 comment

February Neighbor Spotlight: Andrea De Mink

Andrea De Mink wears many hats. She has administered the Irvington Neighbors Facebook Page nearly since its inception, where she also entertains neighbors with discussions about her electricity usage. She serves on the Historic Irvington Community Council, which holds monthly meetings and participates in events throughout the year. You can see her walking through the neighborhood almost daily. Her deepest passion, however, is in helping people. Andrea started working with individuals experiencing homelessness 21 years ago, and in 2004, she formed The PourHouse, Inc., a nonprofit organization that assists individuals experiencing homelessness in overcoming barriers to housing, treatment, and healthcare. The inspiration started with a chance encounter. While running her own IT business downtown, she met and befriended an individual who was digging through the trash for food. She devoted time and energy to knowing his goals and the goals of others in similar situations. When she realized how passionate she felt about helping others, she started the organization that, to date, has housed nearly 300 individuals since 2014. The PourHouse feeds an average of 250 individuals twice per week, but can see numbers as high as 400 some evenings. During the week, she and her team of dedicated volunteers work to address her clients’ broad range of needs. In January, Andrea was recognized as a Champion of Diversity by the Indiana Minority Business Magazine. And with the help of her local supporters, The PourHouse received the Indiana Members Credit Union Gives Back donation of $6,000. How long have you lived and/or worked here in Irvington? Andrea has lived in Irvington for over 15 years. She rented at New York and Emerson for 5 years. “I knew I wanted to stay on the east side and loved the old houses in Irvington.” What do you do for fun? Andrea enjoys landscaping, taking care of her koi, and anything that relates to animals, nature, walking, or biking. She is a Certified Koi Keeper, which means she has been trained to sedate and inject koi, then later revive them. She discovered through her training, when her koi become ill, how they can be treated and brought back to good health. What’s your favorite walk, bike ride, block, or view in the neighborhood? Andrea likes to walk nearly every day for her own health. She favors her path from Lowell to Kitley, Pleasant Run to Layman. She also likes to change up the view by going through Ellenberger Park, down 9th Street to Arlington. If you were Mayor of Irvington for a day, what would you do first? If Andrea were Mayor of Irvington for a day, she would “remove the parking spots in front of Ossip so you can see to pull out onto East Washington and not die.” What’s your connection to IDO? As an active member of the Public Safety Committee for the Historic Irvington Community Council, Andrea works closely with IDO on decisions that affect the individuals, families, and businesses of...

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Irvington Green Initiative Regroups

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News | 0 comments

Irvington Green Initiative Regroups

Irvington Green Initiative just kicked off the Resilient Community Building series with a meet-up at Bittersweet on January 28. The group focused on renewability via community recycling and composting. About 30 Irvington neighbors enjoyed communing over Laura Johnston’s light appetizers. If you missed the meet-up, here’s something you can do right now. Call Mayor Joe Hogsett (317-327-3601) and your City-County Council rep (for many of us, it’s Blake Johnson, District 12, at 317-721-3487). Let them know you want a comprehensive, sustainable materials management plan and curbside service for all of Indianapolis! Then, be sure to like and follow Irvington Green Initiative on Facebook for neighborhood info, ideas, and action opportunities. Contact us at irvingtongreen@gmail.com to get on our e-list for future...

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New Signage Directs Visitors to Destinations and Parking

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News | 0 comments

New Signage Directs Visitors to Destinations and Parking

There’s much more to Irvington than what we find on the Washington Street corridor. In an effort to highlight those off-the-beaten-path treasures, we’ve created signage that points the way to shops, parks, and trails. IDO’s Public Spaces Committee worked with Lodge Design, who provided the design based on the Irvington logo colors for free. The city manufactured and installed the signs. One sign is installed at the intersection of Washington Street and Audubon Road, and the other is installed at Washington Street and Ritter Avenue. “The Public Spaces Committee realized that Irvington was becoming a destination, and we needed to do something to help our visitors find parts of the neighborhood that they might miss if they just stay on Washington Street,” said Erika Hinshaw, IDO’s Public Spaces Committee chair. We thank DPW and Lodge Design for producing and installing the...

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Community Donations Keep Street Lights Lit

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News | 0 comments

Community Donations Keep Street Lights Lit

We have two announcements about the street lights included in IDO’s Streetscape project that has revitalized our Washington Street business corridor with infrastructure improvements, additional lighting and landscaping, and bike racks. IDO is responsible for paying the light bill for the 30 street lights, which costs $12,000 annually. NAP tax credits reward donors. IDO’s tax credit allocation to help donors to the street lights fund has been extended. It’s a great way for you to help the Streetscape stay bright, clean, and green while also saving some green on your taxes. The state offers Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) tax credits to individuals and businesses who donate to eligible programs, including the Streetscape. For the next two months, up to $1,158 in donations to the street lights fund are eligible for a direct credit against the taxpayer’s state tax liability up to 50% of the donation amount. The minimum donation is $100 and it must be made before March 31, 2017.  So for a $100 donation, you can take $50 off what you owe in state taxes. You can also claim the full $100 as a deduction on your federal taxes if you itemize, further lowering your out-of-pocket costs. For more information on how you can help the Streetscape and save money, contact margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org. HICC pledges an annual donation. At its January meeting, Historic Irvington Community Council voted in favor of supporting streetscape maintenance with an annual $2,000 contribution to the street light fund. That’s five streetlights and 17% of the bill! Thanks especially to council Vice President Mike Spilbeler, who introduced the donation to the council for...

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Coal Yard Developers Revamp IHPC Application

Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in Blog, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News, Neighborhoods | 0 comments

Coal Yard Developers Revamp IHPC Application

At its February 1, 2017 hearing, IHPC advised Coal Yard developers to rework their application for a certificate of appropriateness for the Bonna Avenue property. The commission asked developers to reconsider architectural style and landscaping for the site. The City of Indianapolis videotapes these hearings and posts them publicly online. The site proposal in the application incorporated suggestions that Irvington neighbors contributed during the past four months in community meetings, emails and phone calls, and face-to-face meetings with the developers and IDO staff and board members. Developers will resubmit the application, and the commission will hear the case on April 5, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. in the public assembly room at the City-County building. Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) holds design and zoning jurisdiction over 12 designated historic districts to preserve the character and fabric of historically significant areas and...

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A Look Back at The Irvington Lofts

Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News, Neighborhoods, Uncategorized | 0 comments

A Look Back at The Irvington Lofts

By Nancy Larner Ruschman Remember the former Indy East Motel? If you do, you might recall what an eyesore the structure was, not to mention the crime and other troublesome elements it attracted. In 2006 the city revoked Indy East’s license to operate, and finally shuttered it in 2009 due to an extremely high number of police runs and neighbor complaints on this nuisance property. Here’s how a blighted property became a popular, affordable living space. From Indy East to Irvington Lofts A few years after Indy East’s closing, Irvington Development Organization (IDO) stepped in and purchased this property at 5855 East Washington Street from the county, and in 2011 received the green light from the city to demolish the structure and build a proposed 50-unit apartment complex, which was pivotal for the ongoing redevelopment of the Irvington commercial district. For those who might not be familiar with IDO, our mission is consistent with the transformation of the Indy East Motel into the The Irvington Lofts. We “work 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.” IDO accomplishes all of this with only one employee and a volunteer board made up of Irvington residents and business owners. Given our mission, we saw a fantastic opportunity to replace a blighted site with a new structure that would bring investment to the Irvington community. And invest we did. IDO received Section 42 tax credits for the site, which sweetened the pot for project investors. Various partners, through Great Lakes Capital Fund (now Cinnaire), invested $8.7 million in the new apartment building, which offers primarily one-bedroom apartments balanced with a few studios and two-bedroom units. Additionally, Franciscan Health redeveloped the 50-year-old doctor’s office to the west of the apartments with some of the same partners. These two properties represent an $11 million investment. Investments in the Irvington Business Corridor In addition to working on The Lofts, IDO brought increased interest to the business corridor and new business blossomed in the heart of Irvington. With The Legend and the former Dufour’s already serving as solid anchors in the commercial district, Starbucks opened in 2007, and soon after Jockamo opened, followed by Black Sheep in 2010 and Ossip in 2012. Black Acre, a true game changer in Irvington, opened in 2013, and from there several additional businesses opened their doors between 2013 and 2016, most of which have flourished. From 2012 to 2016 IDO completed Phases 1 and 2 of the Irvington Streetscape, plunging another $2.9 million into the community. IDO also facilitated an additional $2.5 million in public infrastructure in Irvington in just the past two years. The improvements in Irvington have moved beyond the business corridor to include a rise in home values as Irvingtonians have seen the median assessed value of their homes climb to $90,000, an increase of $8,700 over the last six years. The Section 42 tax credit financing (see sidebar for more info on this topic) helped to make possible a number of desirable features that make The Lofts extremely energy efficient and sustainable: a community garden, a green roof, a cistern to collect rain water, a solar roof, and a permeable courtyard, in addition to meeting space that...

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Community Views Coal Yard Lofts Mixed-use Development Proposal

Posted by on Jan 19, 2017 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News | 0 comments

By Heidi Unger On the second Tuesday of 2017, Third Street Ventures and Blackline Studio presented the third version of the site proposal for the Bonna Avenue property. The design is a hybrid of previously presented designs, created with neighbor feedback in mind. The proposal (including any minor tweaks resulting from the community discussion) will be submitted to IHPC for approval, and the commission will hear the case on February 1, 2017 at the City-County building. Download the 2-1-17 IHPC Agenda and Coal Yard Staff Report PDF. (If you’d like to watch the meeting where this project was discussed, check out Irvington Development Organization on YouTube.) Community members (approximately 40 in attendance) viewed the new site plan, which includes a two-story, L-shaped, mixed-use building. The commercial portion of the building features a modern-looking brick and wood exterior, accented with a two-story trellis. The residential façade features gables and board and batten siding, a nod to the surrounding residential area. Apartment units cantilever outward from the main structure to provide additional space and soften the exterior look. The highest point of the building is two feet shorter than the adjacent commercial property on Ritter Avenue. The development, previously referred to as The Coal Factory, has been renamed Coal Yard Lofts, noting the urban feel of residential space with high ceilings and exposed duct work and the absence of industrial (factory) space in the building. The building’s anchor is a 3,000 square-foot, first-floor commercial space and community room with glass overhead doors. The community room faces Bonna Avenue and the Pennsy Trail. The commercial space is designed for three business or retail tenants, such as a coffee shop. The site plan includes 46 residential units. The parking area will contain spaces for 91 automobiles, which is higher than the 84 spaces required by city ordinance. IHPC will not require a parking variance. As mentioned in earlier meetings, an 8-foot privacy fence will border a portion of the irregularly shaped property. Site drainage hasn’t been designed, but developers are committed to mitigating the drainage issues that have caused headaches for adjacent property owners. At this early stage, developers expect to include swales, potentially at the back (south) side of the building. Swales are a natural way to manage storm water. The site is also expected to include underground retention, most likely at the north end of the property. Phase I of the environmental study is complete. If the project moves forward, a Phase II assessment will provide more detail about the scope of the work required. Developers would work hand in hand with the appropriate state and local agencies to meet or exceed any requirements for remediating site contamination. The development team intends to use high-quality, durable building materials in accordance with IHPC recommendations and requirements, including brick, wood, and fiber cement products. Choices for exterior wood used on the building include a durable oak and ash product (depending on availability) or stained cedar. The building’s masonry stair towers will be constructed of charcoal-colored block, an architectural reference to the property’s former history as a coal yard. Galvanized metal and wire mesh railings will be installed on balconies. The building currently occupied by Playground Productions and Black Acre Brewing will remain on the property and might at some point be sold to the...

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Notes from 12/06/2016 Community Meeting Regarding Coal Factory Development

Posted by on Dec 17, 2016 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, IDO News, Irvington News, Neighborhoods, Research | 0 comments

Notes from 12/06/2016 Community Meeting Regarding Coal Factory Development

Notes from 12/06/2016 Community Meeting Regarding Coal Factory Development Irvington United Methodist Church, 30 North Audubon Road, Indianapolis, IN Presenters: Jarod Brown and Antone Najem, Third Street Ventures; Craig McCormick, Blackline Studios; Margaret Banning, Irvington Development Organization Margaret Banning mentioned that several people had asked about demographics and how Irvington compares to other neighborhoods. She referred neighbors to www.savi.org and www.indyvitals.org. These tools provide lots of useful data, including this info: Irvington is the 14th most dense neighborhood in Marion County, and that’s more dense than the county at large. The median assessed value of Irvington homes is $90,000, and in the last six years, that has increased $8,700. Regarding Section 42 tax credits awarded by IHCDA, there have been approximately 150 Section 42 tax credit projects in Indianapolis since the program began. The handout Margaret distributed also linked to these articles and studies: “Opposition to affordable housing in Tinley Park rooted in unfounded fears, experts say,” Chicago Tribune, https://goo.gl/qKbgyD “Does Federally Subsidized Rental Housing Depress Neighborhood Property Values?,” National Housing Conference, https://goo.gl/JUa9NL “There Doesn’t Go the Neighborhood: Low-Income Housing Has No Impact on Nearby Home Values,” Trulia, https://goo.gl/20qfw0 How does Section 42 differ from other rent assistance programs, like Section 8?  The residents who live in Section 42 units must be income and program eligible similar to residents who live in rental assistance developments. However, the rent that a Section 42 resident will pay is capped at a fixed amount and includes utilities that are the resident’s responsibility. In rental assistance programs such as Section 8, the resident’s rent is based on 30% of his/her income and the remaining adjusted portion is funded by the federal government. The Section 42 Program is not a government- subsidized rental program. During the meeting, several neighbors mentioned how they were feeling about the proposed development. Some said they’re still anxious about the proposal and fast pace of the project, and uncertain that the residential component is right for the neighborhood. They suggested that a different type of development, such as an ice skating rink or commercial property, might be a better fit. Other neighbors said they’re eager to move forward, especially because the property has been in such bad condition for a number of years. Other neighbors expressed a neutral attitude and desire to hear more from the developers. Craig McCormick reminded neighbors that while the pace of the project seems fast, there’s still a long way to go toward a finished development. He reminded neighbors that award of the tax credits won’t be announced before February. In order to give neighbors more time to provide feedback, and developers time to respond to that feedback, the next IHPC hearing has been moved to February 1st. He said it’s likely that work wouldn’t begin on the site before late 2017. Neighbors who attended the meeting were shown two new proposals and asked for their feedback. Craig stated that although the drawings look finished, they’re simply mockups, not final. Note: It’s important that neighbors understand that while the developers are working hard to create a product that neighbors are happy with, the plans presented in the meetings are subject to change, as almost always happens in a complex project like this when conditions in the field may dictate it. Proposal A: This would...

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Become an IDO Financial Supporter!

Posted by on Dec 11, 2016 in Blog, Business, East Side Indy, Featured, IDO News, Neighborhoods | 0 comments

Become an IDO Financial Supporter!

Dear Irvington Neighbors and Friends, Irvington is such an exciting place to call home! When folks move here, we stay put because it is such a great place to live.  When neighbors do decide to move, their houses are scooped up within days.   We should be grateful that we live in one of the most vibrant, walkable and bikeable neighborhoods in Indianapolis.  Plus, Irvingtonians are engaged. They care.  They join organizations, get to know each other and are passionate about keeping it a neighborhood in the true sense of the word—a place marked by kindly concern. Irvington Development Organization plays an important role in the fabric of our neighborhood.  We exist to promote and nurture Irvington as a desirable place to live, work and conduct business.  We have successes to back us up as doers, not talkers.  Consider the Washington Street streetscape and the Irvington Lofts, two of our most visible success stories.  IDO was instrumental in making those two projects happen. And, they have been incubators for other positive development in our neighborhood.  The Indianapolis Department of Public Works recently identified $2.5 million in public investment in Irvington in just the past two years. IDO also works in less dramatic ways—for example, it: Is the first stop for businesses that want to locate here. Organizes neighborhood clean-up projects. (October’s was a huge success!) Sponsors the Green Initiative to help us all do our part toward a more sustainable planet. Leveraged $1.2 million in federal funds for the recent curbs, sidewalks and re-paving project on Washington Street. Pays the monthly tab for the decorative street lighting in the business district. Plus, we have plans for the future.  We are working diligently to facilitate long-term redevelopment of high-value/high-impact neighborhood sites, such as Irvington Plaza and the old Foamcraft facility on Bonna Avenue.  Since 2002, IDO has been doing, not just talking. Please help by partnering with us to keep Irvington the place we proudly call home.  How might you do that? Step forward as a volunteer. Discover how on our website. Become an IDO member—a modest contribution to help IDO do what it does best. But most of all—become a financial supporter. Donating is easy.  Choose the “Get Involved—Support IDO” option on our website: www.irvingtondevelopment.org. We have decided to draw on Irvington’s history to name our giving levels: $500 and up: Kile Oak Level (includes household IDO membership) $250-$499: National Road Level (includes household IDO membership) $100-$250: Ellenberger Park Level (includes household IDO membership) $50-$99: Washington Irving Level Please join me in becoming an IDO supporter.  We really appreciate it! Don Lundberg Board...

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