INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s labeled as one of the most dangerous zip codes in Indianapolis, but could a potential project revitalize the Avondale Meadows neighborhood?
Planners are hoping it will help fight crime and bring more business to that area. Some of the revitalization has already taken place. Several new schools, a new YMCA and mixed-income housing is already up in the Avondale Meadows area.
The Meadows Community Foundation said their last project is an apartment complex that’s had a lot of problems.
“It was a beautiful area,” said Samuel Hunt of Indianapolis.
That’s how Hunt described the Avondale Meadows neighborhood when he first moved to the community 39 years ago.
“The lower class wasn’t even in here,” Hunt said.
But over the years, crime and violence has moved in and changed it. Little by little the area is seeing new opportunity and starting to improve.
“In 2006, Tindley came. In 08, the Avondale Meadows Academy Foundation came in,” said Amandula Anderson with the Meadows Community Foundation.
“It’s all great development, but what used to be called the Phoenix Apartments — it’s still weighing that area down,” said Marc Lotter, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s communications director.
Lotter is talking about the apartments now known as Keystone North. He said the city along with the Lily Endowment are providing the money to buy the property from the current owner. Lotter said the Meadows Community Foundation wants to redevelop them like the East Lake Village mixed-use complex down the street.
“They are really a magnet and a showcase for what can be done when people work together to revitalize a community,” he said.
“We want to make sure families have safe and affordable housing, and that means having ownership of properties that are within our community,” Anderson said.
Anderson said the foundation met with tenants Wednesday about the plans.
“We wanted to make sure that the residents understood that we did not own the property. We still have a couple of financing hurdles to get through,” she said.
Hunt said no matter the obstacles he sees great potential.
“This is what we need to do in the whole area to get it back up into the quality of what it was,” he said.
The Meadows Community Foundation says they plan to honor all leases as long as tenants continue to pay their rent.
Wednesday morning, the Metropolitan Development Commission approved a $12.5 million dollar. In order for this to move forward it still needs council approval.