Coal Factory Redevelopment:  IDO Community Update Meeting

Tuesday, December 6

6:00 pm

Fellowship Hall

Irvington United Methodist Church

30 N. Audubon Rd.

(please note the location change)

Irvington Development Organization is hosting the second in a series of meetings over the next couple of months before the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission (IHPC) hears the rest of the items (variances, site plan, design, and demolition) in the proposed redevelopment of the Coal Factory property. This meeting will be a chance for the development team to show two versions of the project designs based on the comments from the neighbors in previous meetings.   

To recap, IHPC voted to include residential and artisan and beverage/food production uses in the CS zoning of the property at their November hearing. They are scheduled to hear the additional items at their January 4, 2017 hearing unless it needs to be continued further out. No actual work can be done on the site until those other items are approved.

Please come with your ideas for how to make the project better!

For notes from the last meeting and additional facts regarding the Coal Factory Redevelopment, please click here.

Questions? contact Margaret at Margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org, 317-260-0669 or Antone at antone@thirdstreetventures.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. To donate to IDO or become a member click here. 


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The community of Irvington needs a new sign! We’re unsure how many years the Town of Irvington sign was posted near the eastern edge of Irvington (at 6738 East Washington Street), but we do know that the wooden sign has rotted beyond repair and fallen from its mount. The sign had been posted along the historic National Road, and thousands of motorists, bus riders, bicyclists, and walkers travel this stretch of road every day.

Irvington Sign Mounted

 

With support from Irvington organizations including Irvington Terrace Crime Watch, Historic Irvington Community Council, Irvington Development Organization, Irvington Pet Clinic, and Coal Yard Coffee, a group of neighbors has set out to replace the sign and revamp the space.

We’re hiring an artist to design and create a new sign. Artists: download the RFP and submit your design before the August 21 deadline. If Irvingtonians vote your design as their favorite, you’ll receive $1,000 plus up to $300 for project supplies, and you’ll have the honor of creating the new sign, to be installed in October 2016.

The best sign design will reflect the neighborhood’s character. Irvington residents are known for their love of history, art, architecture, literature, and nature. They’re dedicated to preserving the past while also supporting innovation and growth.

To improve the overall look of the site where the sign will be posted, a crew of neighbors will remove the existing bushes and replace them with small native trees, native plants, and mulch. We’re incorporating native plants in this space because they are environmentally friendly, naturally conserve resources such as water, and support wildlife.

Interested in owning the original sign? We’ll soon announce details for bidding on it in a single-item silent auction. Interested in seeing the drawings in person and helping choose the winning design? Stay tuned. Wondering how you can help us prep, plant, and maintain the space? Great! For updates on this project, follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/irvingtonresigned) and Twitter (@Irv_reSigned), and encourage your favorite artists to enter the contest.

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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. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.


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IDO is holding a gala dinner under the stars at Tyner Pond Farm near Greenfield, IN on September 10. This elegant yet rustic event will help to raise funds that will help strengthen and support Irvington’s commercial district which focuses on recruiting quality businesses to the Irvington area. The event will also introduce Irvington to Chris and Amy Baggott, owners of Tyner Pond Farm and two soon-to-open restaurants on South Audubon Road, The Mug and Griggsby’s Station, and their natural farming processes and high-quality meats. The Baggotts have become leaders in sustainable food production, distribution, and preparation. Their restaurants in Greenfield are getting rave reviews, and we’re very excited to welcome them to Irvington!tyner pond farm2

The harvest menu will be prepared by Chef Lawrence Scully (of Pi food truck) and feature seasonal, local produce including wines and beers. Jazz musician favorite Charlie Ballantine (named “Best Jazz Musician” of 2015 by NUVO magazine) will also perform. All attendees will be eligible to win a two-night stay at the fabulous Tyner Pond Farmhouse on a date to be agreed upon. Farm animals ARE included!

Come join us at what will certainly be an entertaining, enlightening, and filling evening while supporting the Irvington Development Organization and YOUR local businesses. Ticket cost is $100, and can be purchased through Eventbrite  here.

We are also looking for volunteers to set up, serve, and clean up after the event. If you’re interested in helping in a more direct, in-kind way, contact margaret@irvingtondevelopment.org.

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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. To donate to IDO or become a member click here.


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Below is an article from our January IDO Newsletter about the large-scale tree planting that occurred in the Irvington Terrace area during the 2015 Lilly Global Day of Service event. A big thank you to the employees at Eli Lilly and Company, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, Irvington Garden Club, IDO’s own Irvington Green Initiative and our wonderful Irvington and Indianapolis-area neighbors!

To read more on the Shadeland article, click here for our January IDO Newsletter where you’ll find additional articles on parking in Irvington, our Neighbor Spotlight, and new restaurant, The Mug, which will be coming to Irvington in the not-too-distant future!

Bringing the Shade Back to Shadeland

By Heidi Unger
Photo Cred: Heidi Unger and Google Earth Images

Irvington’s eastern gateway, a US 40 highway interchange that aided eastside industrial development in Indianapolis in the 1950s, has received a makeover that restores native habitat and will reduce the city’s maintenance costs by $12,000 per year — every year for the foreseeable future. This conservation project also mitigates stormwater, erosion, and heat while it sequesters carbon and other pollutants.

On Eli Lilly’s Global Day of Service in October 2015, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB) provided the resources for Lilly volunteers to plant 883 trees on the cloverleaf and adjacent triangles at Shadeland Avenue and East Washington Street. KIB, an Indianapolis not-for-profit organization that facilitates sustainable beautification through community involvement, found the size of this city-owned property ideal for a project of this scope (project funding required planting on city property) and was eager to expand an existing project in a community where it has a long-term working relationship with community members.

KIB intends to expand this tree-planting project farther south within the next two years. Nate Faris, Director of Community Forestry, says, “Our plans are, next year in the fall, to plant another 900 trees over at Shadeland and English at the interchange south of the one we just planted, and, hopefully in 2017, we’ll be planting the interchange at Shadeland and Brookville.”

Community commitment

The conservation effort began in 2009 when Irvington Garden Club member Pat Brown and her Irvington Terrace neighbors launched the first stage of this project by gaining support from KIB, Irvington Development Organization (IDO), Irvington Green Initiative, local politicians, and nearby businesses and then began planting 30 trees in the northwest quadrant of the East Washington Street cloverleaf. In the next stage of the project, they added native plants.

Brown’s plan for a prairie/woodland gateway to historic Irvington aimed to reestablish barren acreage to a diverse, self-sustaining property. She explains that “Irvington was originally established as a suburb of Indianapolis, a place to live where one could enjoy nature. Today, traveling along East Washington Street offers mostly views of concrete, commercial signs, and speeding cars.” Restoring native habitat in the cloverleaf “brings back some of the natural beauty that once existed along the Old National Trail/Highway 40.”

cloverleaf northwest

Photo courtesy of Heidi Unger

After the first trees were planted in a portion of the northwest quadrant, that portion was “taken out of mow,” which is the city’s terminology for removing a patch of grass from its grass-mowing schedule — a move that reduced the city’s grass-mowing costs and its impact on the environment. Volunteers in Irvington Terrace committed to watering the trees weekly during the months of April through October for three years (which became four years due to drought). A neighborhood volunteer bucket brigade watered trees with 5-gallon buckets filled from a water tank that residents transported with a trailer and minivan.

About four years ago, news of the planting project caught the attention of Lilly’s Global Day of Service planners, who were looking for an opportunity to train their volunteers to plant trees on slopes and found a suitable slope in the southwest quadrant. Together with KIB, Lilly developed a plan to plant and maintain the entire southwest quadrant. And in 2015, they returned to finish the entire interchange.

This is only one example of how community involvement in neighborhoods throughout Indianapolis can attract bigger and better improvements. “I think a lot of this started with Irvington Terrace being excited to plant there, and it started with small steps that built over time,” Faris says. “It made sense to keep investing there once we started.” 

Cost reduction

Now that the entire interchange is planted, the city will mow only a 30-foot swath around the edges. Faris notes that because the city spends $12,000 annually to mow a single interchange, “We’re saving the city $12,000 [every year], and we’re saving all the gasoline that’s burned to mow those areas. That’s a pretty sweet deal.”

Faris mentions additional benefits. “Trees provide a lot of services. They take carbon out of the air and sequester it. They also knock other pollutants out of the air, so they make the air cleaner. A city gets pretty hot, and trees cool the city, not only by shading the asphalt but also by evapotranspiration.” The evapotranspiration process requires heat, and removing the heat results in a cooler environment under established trees.

“Trees also intercept storm water, so they help reduce the need for larger sewers in our city, and they help reduce peak sewer flows so that less raw sewage is washed into our rivers.”

Partnerships in community development

In the early phases of the cloverleaf project, community members realized its contribution to existing neighborhood development plans. IDO’s goals to enhance the Irvington business corridor on East Washington Street, support the Pennsy Trail expansion, and improve the streetscape fit nicely with the cloverleaf rehabilitation.

The project also contributes to KIB’s goal to plant 100,000 trees across the city.

Food chain and biodiversity support

Brown’s original plan for the cloverleaf included the goal to “promote the appreciation, preservation, conservation, and utilization of the flora native to Indiana and educate the public about the values, beauty, diversity, and environmental importance of indigenous vegetation.” Planting native trees and plants is an idea that has become popular with environmentalists, and it’s one that KIB shares.

Faris explains that one advantage of landscaping with native plants is the relatively minimal care that they require. “They’ve been here for thousands of years, and they’ve adapted to our climate and soil.” Another advantage is their role in the food chain. Put simply, plants that thrive in an environment are food for insects and animals that also thrive in that environment. A tree planted in its native environment can support as many as 500 species of caterpillars. “A bird’s nest, for example, often requires a couple hundred caterpillars a day to feed the new hatchlings. So if we plant native trees, lots of caterpillars can live on that and support the birds and all the other things that the ecosystem needs. But if we would’ve planted gingko trees, which are great urban-hardy trees but are native to Asia, they support in the single digits of species of caterpillars, and far less life can be supported on trees that aren’t from here.”

On the cloverleaf, volunteers have planted native trees, including eastern red cedar, bur oak, redbud, and quaking aspen; grasses such as Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem), Asclepias tuberosa (also known as milkweed and food for the declining monarch butterfly population); and flowers such as New England aster. Cloverleaf visitors are also finding that native plants and trees that no one planted are showing up there as the prairie and woodland recover.

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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 Luminaria: A Winter Lighting Event

By Paula Schmidt and Heidi Unger


This post is one of several articles in our December IDO Newsletter. You can read the entire newsletter here.

Firelight and friends have historically been a way for many cultures and religions to encourage the light and warmth of summer to return. For 39 years, Irvington Winter Luminaria has served as a neighborhood night out, gathering friends and family to enjoy some nondenominational sparkle and cheer. This year’s luminaria is Sunday, December 20th, 6–10 p.m. It’s a time to slow down, enjoy your home, and celebrate your community.

Lumin1
Check the luminaria event page at https://goo.gl/PDvyUi for information on lots of related events, including Santa at Irving Circle, Christmas Jazz at Coal Yard Coffee, and a bike tour. If you’d like to dedicate some time to help light public spaces, contact the luminaria committee at www.facebook.com/irvingtonwinterluminaria

Here is how you can participate. Buy candle kits at one of our local businesses. As few as five luminarias will be beautiful. Kits are priced at 5 for $2, 10 for $4, and 20 for $6, or you can buy bags only, 5 for $1.

  • Ace Hardware (1025 North Arlington Avenue)
  • Antique Mall by Jack & Jill (5501 East Washington Street)
  • Black Sheep Gifts (5626 East Washington Street)
  • Coal Yard Coffee (5547 Bonna Avenue)
  • Deering Cleaners (1160 North Arlington Avenue)

Pick up sand from the parking lot of Ellenberger Park ice rink parking lot (at 5301 East St. Clair Street) on or after December 12th. Bring your own container and help yourself.

Set up your luminarias on Sunday, December 20th, and enjoy.

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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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The extension of the Pennsy Trail provides a place to walk, run or bicycle from the Eastside to Downtown Indianapolis.

(Photo: Olivia Lewis / The Star)

Neighbors had talked about having a trail in Irvington for years.

Stephen Windsor, who grew up in the Eastside neighborhood and moved into his current Irvington home in 1990, said he remembers conversations about it long ago.

He remembers the Pennsylvania Railroad trains that rode along the tracks through the neighborhood, the sounds they made and how they were abandoned — and the path that was left behind.

The trail, an extension of the Pennsy Trail, was built in sections and the first part opened in 2009. The path for walkers, joggers and bicyclers now extends from Bonna Avenue to the Pleasant Run Trail at Ellenberger Park, the Pennsy Trail at Arlington Avenue and the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. It’s a path that connects people in Irvington to Downtown Indianapolis, and vice versa, without the use of a motor vehicle.

IndyStar Image Pennsy Trail photo cred Olivia LewisSaturday morning, before the neighborhood’s annual Halloween festival, Mayor Greg Ballard and Irvington residents celebrated the opening of the 1.3-mile extended pathway at the corner of South Audubon Road and Bonna Avenue. With $1.13 million in funding from Ballard’s RebuildIndy initiative, the path was officially paved and opened to the public on Saturday.

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Christinia Bryan  and Stephen Windsor have been neighbors in the Irvington neighborhood for more than 20 years. 

But the neighbors were already using it. Windsor said he uses it to walk almost every day. His neighbor, Christinia Bryan, who moved to Irvington in 1991, has been using it, too, for bicycling.

Bryan and Windsor said they’ve watched the neighborhood change. Bryan said residents of the community have always looked out for one another, but along the greenway they interact even more than before.

“We see people walking up and down every day, riding bikes, getting out and doing things socially,” she said. “The neighbors are friendly, everybody is.”

Katy Brett has lived in Irvington eight years. She said the path has brought the residents, who already lived in a tight-knit community, even closer together. It’s also opened up a new way to invite outsiders into the community.

“Most people, when they come to Irvington, they come to Washington,” she said. “But now when they come to Irvington on the trail, they’ll see some of the nice wooded areas off to the side of the street and some of our new businesses.”

On the corner of South Audubon Road and Bonna Avenue is Lisa Wuertz’s small, local business, Bonna Shops.

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Lisa Wuertz owns Bonna Shops, a local store along the extended Irvington greenway. Wuertz says the trail has brought new customers to her business. 

Wuertz has occupied the space for three years and said she wanted to bring her handmade holiday decorations and design boutique to an area with heavy foot traffic. She said she’s not the only business owner to locate there to be near the new trail.

Her foresight has paid off. Wuertz said people using the trail see her business for the first time while on a walk or run and often return — having caught an interest in the shop.

“It’s been a huge change,” she said. “A lot more people coming down to this area, a lot more traffic. It’s been a good thing.”

Wuertz and her family have lived in Irvington for 15 years. Like Windsor, she remembers discussions of extending the path to connect to other parts of the community. Her family have used trails farther into the city for biking and walking. And she said the extension has made it even more convenient for young families moving into the neighborhood.

“It’s a huge win for Indy’s Eastside,” she said.

Call Star reporter Olivia Lewis at (317) 444-6126. Follow her on Twitter:@TheWrittenPeace. 

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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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