East-side residents starting to see improvements in neighborhood

Plan includes IMPD substation, home renovations

INDIANAPOLIS - East-side residents said they are starting to see improvements around their neighborhood.

A new police substation and home renovations are all part of the plan to make Willard Park a better neighborhood.

Like her garden, Brenda Wegener said her neighborhood is a work in progress.

"I think it’s great. The new houses they have built in the neighborhood and fixing up some of the old ones and getting rid of some of the ones that were vacant. I think it’s great," Wegener said.

Wegener said she hasn’t seen improvements to Willard Park in 21 years. She said she is even seeing more communication between neighbors.

While revitalization is the idea, an abundance of boarded-up homes remains the reality.

"I think more parks, a few more business owners, right now I think homeowners need to move back into the neighborhoods," Vicki Blue said.

Riley Area Development Corporation is working with neighborhood groups on a revitalization plan that includes affordable housing and a crosswalk to make it safer for kids to get to and from the park.

"I have hope now, and at one point I felt like it wasn't going to get any better," Wegener said.

The revitalization plan includes $5 million in investments, but planners said everyone can help with the community cleanup projects.

The plan for an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department substation will give the neighborhood a resource center.

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