INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Residents of a downtown Indianapolis neighborhood say they’re in the fight of their lives to save it.
“Everything can be repaired except death, and this is the death of a neighborhood,” said Michael Golub, who moved to the neighborhood a few years ago.
Neighbors in Ransom Place, on the west side, say a proposed construction project would ruin what they spent decades building up.
“If this project comes, it’s over for the houses. The houses will be unsellable and unleasable,” Paula Brooks, the spokesperson for the group Ransom Place Matters, said.
A Bloomington-based developer is looking to build two apartment buildings and four houses along Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Street, 10th Street and California Street.
“The residents have said they don’t want it, but the developer is going forward saying, ‘okay this is what you’re going to get,’ and we don’t agree with that,” said Phillip Warren, another neighborhood resident.
In plans submitted to the city, the project calls for nearly fifty units. Neighbors’ prime concerns are parking and traffic.
There are plans for 93 parking spaces, but there’s room for up to 200 people.
“If they put these houses here its just going to be ugly when its time for me to park at night, so its a big concern,” said Rodney Cottonham, who lives across the street from one of the proposed buildings.
Others say it’s about the character of the neighborhood.
“We want something that is friendly to the architecture of the neighborhood — and compatible,” Theresa Crawford-Cottonham, a longtime neighborhood resident.
“This is a residential area. We need houses, not apartment buildings,” said Rita Offett, who says she’s lived in the neighborhood all her life.
“I thought I was buying into something that was historic,” said Golub.
The area dates back to the 19th century and is one of the city’s first African American neighborhoods.
The residents say this project is a slap in the face.
“Its disrespectful, as a matter of fact,” said Crawford-Cottonham.
A hearing on this project will be held Wednesday. It will be the third time the architect is presenting his plans.
Because the area is historic, it must be approved by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission.