Midtown Indianapolis, Inc. announces grant from the nina mason pulliam charitable trust


Indianapolis, IN – Dec. 5, 2016 – Midtown Indianapolis, Inc. has received a grant totaling $200,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.


The grant provides the resources needed to complete the Phase I vision for Tarkington Park, specifically the performance stage, and will also help establish a comprehensive program plan for park users. This generous grant comes as construction wraps up on other Phase I elements including a destination play area and half-court basketball courts, which are now open. A water plaza and a privately operated café are expected to open in Spring 2017.


 “Our community has worked tirelessly to make Tarkington Park a destination community asset and the grant from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust is a clear recognition and celebration of the collaborative efforts to date,” said Michael McKillip, Executive Director of Midtown Indianapolis, Inc.


It was just a year ago that area residents, city leaders, and community partners joined together to help raise over $600,000 to restore the central café. The grant funds will help restore the last remaining component of the Phase I plan, the performance stage, which was previously cut due to budget constraints. The performance stage will be a place for community and neighborhood events and will provide a venue for future arts and cultural programming options for the park. A portion of the grant funds will be used in conjunction with funds committed by the Indianapolis Parks Foundation to create a comprehensive programming, operations, and maintenance plan for the park.  


With funding in place, Midtown Indianapolis, Inc. is working with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation to secure bids to construct the stage, targeting a Summer 2017 debut.  Program planning efforts are expected to begin as early as January 2017. 


“During her career, Nina Mason Pulliam shared her financial success and business leadership skills with many charities.  She had a keen awareness of challenges that face our community and would take great pride in the outstanding work being done by organizations like Midtown Indianapolis, Inc.," said Kent Agness, Trustee.  "Through her Trust, we continue to build on her legacy, which clearly reflects her heart for philanthropy."


The grant to Midtown Indianapolis, Inc. represents one of 28 awarded to nonprofit organizations in Indiana by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust during the second of two grant cycles this year. Since the Trust began its grant making in 1998, it has awarded more than $268 million to 949 nonprofit organizations in its home states of Indiana and Arizona.  For more information about the Trust and its programs visit www.ninapulliamtrust.org.


Seeking operators for the

Tarkington Park cafe

If you have been looking for the perfect location to open your new restaurant in Midtown, don't let this opportunity pass you by! The City of Indianapolis' Request for Information (RFI) application closed on Nov. 4, 2016, but that doesn't mean it is too late for you to apply to operate the Tarkington Park Cafe.


The RFI applications have been recieved and The City is using the responses to craft their Formal Request for Proposal (RFP). Stay tuned for updates on the release date for the RFP.


Want more information about this opportunity? Take a look at the RFI information below and reach out to Midtown Indianapolis, Inc. with questions and concerns about the RFP process.


Download the RFI.

Learn more about Great Places 2020 at Maple Crossing.

Take a look at the demographics in Maple Crossing.



Update 12/18/2015

You Did It! We are happy to announce that we surpassed the goal of $600,000 need to secure the central café and plaza late yesterday. Your contributions helped to secure over $400,000 in matching funds! Plans are being revised as we speak to ensure they are completed as part of the Phase I project.

The past several weeks have been inspiring. Residents, Business Owners, Anchor Institutions, Neighborhood leaders came together with City leaders and together we sustained the Vision for a critical element of Tarkington Park Phase I. While the funding campaign remains open for the final $179,500 needed to support the Performance Stage and funding for a comprehensive operations/programming feasibility study, the core of Phase I is intact.

We want to thank everyone who has contributed to the effort thus far and has helped to secure the café and lower an $800,000 funding gap to only $179,500. A very special thanks to the following:

Public and Private Partners: CICF and the City of Indianapolis lead the effort with $400,000 in matching funds. The Metropolitan Development Commission approved $60,000 in funding from the Midtown TIF.


Individuals: Hundreds of residents, many who went door to door and rallied their neighbors on social media and helped raise over $44,000 in individual contributions.

Nonprofit organizations: To the nonprofit organizations like the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), North United Methodist Church, the Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association, the Meridian Kessler Neighborhood Association, the Meridian Street Foundation, Midtown Inc., and the Kourany Family Fund who collectively gave $59,500.

Midtown Anchor Institutions: Generous support from institutional leaders in Midtown like Butler University, the Christian Theological Seminary, and the International School who contributed $24,000.

Corporations: Companies big and small like Nuvo, Colby Equipment, Rundell Ernstberger, Axis Architecture, Pivot Marketing, Brandt Construction, Deering Cleaners gave $33,000

Make a secure, tax deductible donation today!






Tarkington Park: Phase I

(Estimated completion: Fall/Winter 2015)

Catalyst Redevelopment Strategy:

Tarkington Park Phase I-$5.8 Million (Original budget was 5M, bids came in 1M too high)


Proposed TIF Investment:

$1 Million (20% of project cost)


This project is the first element in a comprehensive redevelopment strategy for the 38th and Illinois Street area. While this is a preliminary phase, the plan in its entirety will feature a 12 million dollar destination urban park in an area that serves over a dozen neighborhoods. The park will also help rejuvinate a key commercial node along a critical transportation corridor.

At the end of the bidding process, the construction bids came in about $1M too high, so the budget was increased from $5M to $5.8M to adjust for that. As of December 2015, nearly $5.5 of that $5.8M has been raised.


38th and Illinois/Tarkington Park - A Brief History

The Tarkington Park Master Plan was adopted by the City in November of 2012. The plan was the culmination of numerous area neighborhood plans which called for area redevelopment, new investment, and improved public amenities. The Indianapolis Parks Department hired a team lead by Rundell Ernstberger to to plan out the park's future as a central element to the area’s revitalization. Several independent commercial node studies have identified the 38th and Illinois area as a viable residential, retail, and transportation node in need of public and private reinvestment. Below, see the Tarkington Park Master Plan, and the Mid-North and Midtown Commercial Node Studies.


Phase I of Tarkington Park is expected to be complete by end of 2015.

The full park Master plan is estimated at $12 million dollars. The proposal at hand would utilize $1 million of the proposed bond revenue generated by the Broad Ripple area development to leverage additional City and philanthropic funds to fund a $5 Million Phase I of the park Master plan. The strategy focuses on an initial catalyst public realm investment in the park simultaneously with City investments in business and infrastructure investments. The plan aims to stimulate specific redevelopment opportunities in the short term and many more in the long term.

The completed version of Tarkington Park, at right, depicts the following amenities:

-Dog Park

-Bocce Ball

-Children's Play Area

-Basketball Courts

-Tennis Courts

-Farmer's Market Venue

-Splash Plaza

-Cafe and restrooms

-New walking paths

-New lighting, landscaping

-Picnic shelters

-Improved street crossings

-Improved parking

-Great lawn for field sports

-Performance stage



Above is a rendering depicting Tarkington Park with all future phases complete.

New development in the background is for the sake of illustration purposes only.

Click here to see the write up in the Indy Star.


Updated Renderings:







Existing Conditions:


This map depicts problem areas that surround the site. Get more info about these sites in the North Midtown Economic Development Plan.

Image Source: 2011 North Midtown Economic Development Plan


Proposed Future Development Areas: