Indianapolis is ever-evolving and the next few years are looking more active than ever. Several areas around the city are gearing up to become “Great Places”. The first one we are highlighting is the Maple Crossing neighborhood. This area acts as the bridge between Downtown Indy and Broad Ripple, originally lined in Maple trees, the area surrounding the intersection of 38th & Illinois is in need of some love. The Great Places 2020 initiative is focusing on four pillars to develop and maintain selected neighborhoods : Livability, Opportunity, Vitality & Education.
Although it has been a high traffic area, it has also become known as a “food desert” and in dire need of improvements, support, and increased access to mass transit. Through a combination of private funding and a community development block grant 6 or more buildings will undergo facade upgrades. Additionally Tarkington Park, the 10.5 acre center gem of the Maple Crossing project, has already undergone some major improvements and will host the neighborhood farmer’s market to revitalize the availability of fresh and affordable food.
The future transit improvements are expected to help integrate the new Red Line system in Indianapolis by adding two additional stops near the intersection of 38th & Illinois. The improvements coming to Maple Crossing and other neighborhoods across Indianapolis come with a commitment to transforming the neighborhood into a driver in the community to facilitate resident retention and attraction people to the city from outside Indiana as well.
Several existing charter, magnet, and public schools in the area will be utilized as community anchors in addition to partnerships with the MLK Community Center (MLKCC), Midtown Anchor Coalition and the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis’ Extraordinary Learning Family Initiative (XLFNI). The MLKCC is a United Way agency, providing affordable income-based after school programs for working families and is also a WorkOne mobile site. The XLFNI is an emerging cradle-to-career program focused on the growing the aspirations of youth in the neighborhoods surrounding the Children’s Museum.
Midtown Anchor Coalition employs more than 2,000 people teamed up to meet “mutual goals and enhance the vibrancy of Midtown” and is comprised of Butler University, Indianapolis Museum of Art, International School of Indiana, Crown Hill Heritage Foundation, Christian Theological Seminary, Citizens Energy, Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association, and Midtown Indianapolis, Inc.
What do you think of the improvements near Maple Crossing and Tarkington Park?