AN END TO BLIGHT?
On May 8th, area neighborhood leaders reached a deal that proposes to end the decades of blight at 202 W. 38th Street “Capitol Tire and Quick Lube”. Moments before a scheduled hearing related to a variance requested by the property owner, the involved parties reached a compromise. Property owner Jesse Singh agreed to end all outstanding violations, pay all levied fines, and operate violation free for six months. In exchange neighborhood leaders will reconsider their opposition to the request for a variance.
We need your help! Starting June 1st, 2014, the property owner has agreed to operate under the C-3 zoning requirements. We need the community to ensure that Jesse Singh stays true to his word. If you are in the area, snap a photo of the site at 202 West 38th Street and post it to Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #EndBlight to let us know if the business owner is not complying to the agreement made with the neighborhoods! To read Midtown Inc.'s official statement, click here.
Examples of this would be: working on cars in the parking lot, stacking tires or storing other items outside of the building, tires or debris scattered in the parking lot, etc. To read the full specifications of C-3 Code, click here. See the photos below for some examples.
to ACHIEVe OUR ASPIRATIONS we must ACT
Chief among the complaints often heard from residents of Midtown are that too few people are willing to invest in our community, particularly to bring the kind of investments that are supportive of our aspirations and desired quality of life. So it is important to recognize, highlight, and support such projects when they do come along. A project from recent headlines comes to mind as it signifies an opportunity to take a step forward in our pursuit of Midtown’s Aspirations to be Destination Connected, an Employment Generator, and a Place of Investment. It also serves as a reminder of why it is important to take action.
The proposal would invest $1.5 million into a key commercial node (College & Kessler) converting two small rental houses owned by the developer into 5,200 sqft of “Class A” office space. It is precisely the kind of development called for in the Midtown Future Plan. The project strengthens an existing commercial node within logical boundaries, it is located on a key transit corridor and in an economic development area, it adds job density, there is established market demand for the product, it will increase the tax base for Marion County, and it seeks no public subsidy. The proposed office use will provide a buffer between adjacent residential and the increasingly intense commercial uses which have evolved at the corner. It is an added bonus that the developers are local and that they live, work, and choose to invest in the neighborhood.
The project has the endorsement of neighborhood leaders, City Councillors and City planning staff. So it may come as a surprise to you that the zoning request resulted in a tie vote (4-4) at recent zoning hearing before the Metropolitan Development Commission (MDC). Opponents cited a desire to save the existing houses for commercial use, instead of building new. It is true that Midtown is known for its historic neighborhoods and that many businesses in Midtown operate in old houses or other repurposed buildings. Equally well known is the lack of quality office space to accommodate modern employers in Midtown whose businesses are not suited for an old house or a repurposed gas station. Increasingly people want to live and work in their neighborhood. Projects like this make that possible and increase the diversity of employers that can be accommodated.
As we work toward our aspirations and work to improve quality of life we must recognize the value of opportunities when they arise. We must be willing to speak up in support of the projects which move us closer to our aspirations. This project we will get a second chance. The project will be reheard by the MDC on March 19th at 1p.m. at the City County Building. Join us at the hearing or email City Councillors and City Planning Staff to share your thoughts on the project.