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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What's Next for Neighborhoods

Earlier this month, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation presented its third installment of the “What’s Next for Neighborhoods: A Public Conversation Series.” This forum focused on housing in Indianapolis’ urban core neighborhoods.  As an organization focusing on the health of downtown neighborhoods, LISC felt it was important to talk about the challenges these neighborhoods face. As a REALTOR® who hears daily the concerns and desires of homeowners, I was pleased to be asked to be part of this important discussion.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Indianapolis witnessed large-scale suburbanization, with subdivisions springing up north and west of the White River, along Allisonville Road, east to Fort Benjamin Harrison and along East and West Washington Street to accommodate veterans home from World War II and their growing families.  As suburban neighborhoods continued to grow over the decades, Indianapolis’ once thriving urban neighborhoods began to decline.

While downtown Indianapolis has received several notable upgrades recently — including the most recent Georgia Street Corridor and the Near East Super Bowl Legacy Initiative, which was impressive to Super Bowl visitors from all across the country — our urban core neighborhoods have more than 14,000 vacant homes and the highest rate of foreclosures in the state.

As we look ahead and ponder economic growth and development opportunities for our city, our starting point should be not only accommodating, but attracting a variety of residents — from young professionals who wish to live, work and play within the urban core to empty nesters and families alike.

Bill Taft of LISC and Rob McPherson of the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership laid the groundwork for the discussion, and panelists Leigh Riley Evans, executive director of Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation; Adam Thies, director of the City’s Department of Metropolitan Development; and John Watson, managing member of Core Redevelopment LLC, made up the balance of the panel to discuss solutions for this challenge facing the ultimate growth of our city.

As a REALTOR®, I was excited to bring the concerns and desires that I hear from central Indiana residents each day to the table and I look forward to continuing to work with community and city leaders to find innovative ways to strengthen and rebuild our urban neighborhoods.

Debbie Morris
2012 President
Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of REALTORS®

It's YOUR turn. What are your thoughts on ways to strengthen and rebuild our urban neighborhoods? Leave a comment below!

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