INDIANAPOLIS – Twin Aire, an Indianapolis southeast side neighborhood, has seen major development over the past year, but neighbors in the area hope the latest affordable housing project attracts even more growth.
The School 21 project will transform a vacant former IPS school into 73 housing units for low-income families. The $12 million renovation is expected to be complete by December.
The 1950s-era residential and commercial district is set between Washington Street and Southeastern Avenue, and is home to more than 2,300 Hoosiers.
Those that live in the Great Places 2020 community said they are excited about the progress their neighborhood has made, but what they don’t want is gentrification.
RELATED | On Near Eastside, some hesitant about new justice center -- others see 'goldmine' | Homecroft historic district named Indianapolis Neighborhood of the Month | Indy's Neighborhood of the Month: Ransom Place | Why neighbors can't get enough of Homecroft historic neighborhood
"They want to stay a working class, service class neighborhood. They don't want to be Fountain Square. They want to be a vibrant neighborhood where housing is affordable,” said Jeff Sparks, Great Places 2020 coordinator.
Much of the area’s development has been supported by federal programs including the Promise Zone and the Economic Development Administration.
In June, the Church of Nazarene plans to bring 2,000 volunteers to help elderly neighbors repair their homes.
“We're going to have to look like a Great Place 2020 by 2020. That is three years from now,” said Brenda McAtee, who has lived in Twin Aire for 47 years. “We got to look good when you come through. We want to make sure something catches your eye over in Twin Aire that you’ll want to come here and live."