In Indianapolis, Indiana, the area called Monon16 surrounds the intersection of 16th Street and the Monon Trail.
The eastern portion of Monon16 falls within the IndyEast Promise Zone, a federally-designated high-poverty community where revitalization efforts are being advanced by both federal and local leaders.
There is already nearly $50 million invested in current renewal projects in the area, with another 12 projects planned.
Those efforts were significantly accelerated on October 12, 2017, when Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced the launch of Lift Indy, a comprehensive community development investment program aimed at propelling revitalization in Indianapolis neighborhoods.
The Monon16 area, which is within the Kennedy-King neighborhood, was selected as the City’s first Lift Indy investment area, and will receive an anticipated $4.5 million over the next three years.
“When I was elected Mayor, I promised to leverage the success of downtown back into our neighborhoods. As a first-of-its-kind investment strategy for Indianapolis, Lift Indy allows us to concentrate significant funding toward addressing neighborhood challenges and sustaining healthy communities,” said Hogsett.
“But Lift Indy is more than an initiative to improve one area – it is a long term strategy to elevate all of Indianapolis’ neighborhoods, for the betterment of all people in our city.”
Each year, the City of Indianapolis will designate a new Lift Indy area through a data-driven and competitive process. The selected area will receive a significant portion of two U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants – the HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
Lift Indy is part of Mayor Hogsett’s work to transform Indianapolis neighborhoods.
This strategic investment of public funds aims to support the growth of economic development opportunities, the preservation and development of quality affordable housing, creative placemaking, availability of social services, infrastructure renewal, public amenities, social engagement, and other aspects of quality of life that make up a complete neighborhood.
The funds will be targeted in areas where public investments could help leverage market potential.
“Lift Indy is an opportunity for King Park and our partners to have a transformational impact on the Monon16 area. The City’s investment into comprehensive community development will leave a legacy of inclusiveness in the Monon16 area that continues well beyond the Lift Indy program,” said Steven Meyer, Executive Director of King Park Development Corporation (KPDC).
In an email to REVITALIZATION publisher Storm Cunningham, Meyer added, “As far as our revitalization strategy is concerned, King Park works on the edge of functioning markets, expanding them outward by addressing market failures that serve as barriers to development. We do that by aggregating land for projects, clearing title, rezoning properties for context-appropriate uses, addressing environmental issues, developing high-quality affordable housing, and supporting small businesses.”
“Our goal is to ensure that there are opportunities for people of all income levels who want to be part of great neighborhoods,” he added.
To identify the first Lift Indy area, the City of Indianapolis used data provided by the Reinvestment Fund to determine a neighborhood where a multi-year commitment of funding would drive market activity and further neighborhood investment.
The Monon16 revitalization project was selected from nine Lift Indy applicants by a selection committee consisting of leaders from the City, non-profit, and business communities. The committee noted the Monon16 project fulfilled many program goals, including:
- Project partners include a broad group of organizations currently invested in the area;
- Project partners represent a wide spectrum of the community development industry;
- Project area has strong market potential;
- Project implements a neighborhood-driven vision;
- Project aligns with the neighborhood Quality of Life Plan;
- Project includes shovel-ready, tangible projects.
The Monon16 project team is led by the King Park Development Corporation. Monon16 project partners include David Weekley Homes, Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity, the Harrison Center for the Arts, the ReDevelopment Group, and TWG Development.
Photo of Indianapolis via Adobe Stock.