BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — Beech Grove homeowners and business owners can expect their property values to go up next year. Officials call this good news for a city that has struggled to keep a positive image.
On Wednesday it was raining in Beech Grove, but the forecast was far from gloomy. Mayor Dennis Buckley said both commercial and residential property values are expected to climb by five and a half percent in 2018.
“It’s good news for the city of Beech Grove. It makes me want to do more,” said Buckley.
The mayor credits improved streets and roads, a recently upgraded sewer system and business owners taking an interest in Main Street for the increase.
“Main Street is being revitalized. We have more and more businesses coming to Main Street. It’s just all tying together,” Buckley said.
An improved image has also attracted people and businesses. It’s an image that was tarnished back in June of 2015, when two women beat each other up in the shampoo aisle of Walmart. One of the women involved encouraged her child, who was standing by, to join in on the fight. It was all caught on video and that video went viral.
“Every once in a while, I still hear about Walmart from people,” said Buckley.
But since the notorious brawl, Buckley has initiated meetings with Walmart. Walmart hired off-duty police officers for security, added fencing, and remodeled the store among many other things. Mayor Buckley believes it’s kept the riffraff out.
At Eckstein’s Shoe Store on Main Street, they’ve noticed a change too. The store has been around for nearly a century.
“We’ve also seen a new breath coming to our Main Street; new businesses, new places to live, new places to work, kind of opening up on our Main Street in the last couple years,” said Eckstein’s owner Jim Coffman.
Coffman has also lived in Beech Grove his entire life. He’s optimistic about his city’s future.
“There’s a lot of businesses and a lot of people who realize, yea, we see the potential. We want to be a part of that, be part of that now. Get on the ground going and see where Beech Grove goes from there,” Coffman said.
Mayor Buckley also said that property taxes will go down by one and a half percent and more funding will be available to hire police officers and firefighters.