Indy Neighborhood To Get $7M 'Super' Boost

Near East Side Will Be Targeted For Renewal

A struggling neighborhood near downtown Indianapolis will get a $7 million boost ahead of the 2012 Super Bowl.

A 10-year, low-interest loan announced Monday will support housing and commercial redevelopment efforts already under way in the near eastside neighborhood as part of a 2007 quality-of-life plan, 6News' Jennifer Carmack reported.

The Host Committee will use the plan as its legacy project, which includes a practice field to be built on the campus of Arsenal Technical High School. The facility will become a community center following the game.

"The legacy of this game stretches from one week to a generation or more," said Mayor Greg Ballard. "People move in, crime goes down, businesses flourish. It's all tied together."

One of the biggest issues for the neighborhood is the prevalence of abandoned homes. As part of the initiative, the committee and the John Boner Community Center will buy the properties and make them affordable for people to own.

"To be able to open up some of these other homes and put some families in will help revitalize the neighborhood," said Julie Bakehorn, the principal of nearby Brookside Elementary School. "Anything that takes the stress off the parents helps the kids."

Community leaders said the investment will be a catalyst for change on the east side.

"You can't really expect to do much if someone doesn't make a financial investment, and one this kind, 10 years out, is a tremendous investment," said near eastside resident and taskforce member Ann Marie Hanlon.

"It's just like anything else, if you don't do it right, it wont work," said John Britain, the owner of Audrey's Place, a furniture and antiques store that's been in the neighborhood for 20 years. "I think it's important not only to improve the business district, but the neighborhoods as well."