Historic Flanner Neighborhood fights planned Meijer that would demolish dozens of homes

Meijer wants to build on vacant city land

INDIANAPOLIS - Longtime residents of a near-west side neighborhood are fighting a plan for a superstore that would mean bulldozing their homes.

A developer is considering building a Meijer store on a vacant piece of land owned by the city near 16th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 

But the retail chain would have to buy 35 homes in the neighborhood surrounding the land to seal with the deal with the city.

The Flanner Neighborhood is made up of homes built in the 1950s as part of a cooperative that helped African-Americans who could not get conventional mortgages at the time, Indiana Landmarks said .

Sam Hatten, who helped build his home himself, said the neighborhood is like one big family. He thinks the developer is wasting its time.

"See, because, they could not give us enough to survive, at 85. Where would they send us, where would we have to go?" he said.

Indiana Landmarks put the neighborhood on its 10 Most Endangered List due to the threat of redevelopment.

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