City hires project manager for international district improvements

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The city is moving forward with a plan to enhance a growing international district near West 38th Street and Lafayette Road with features such as landscaping, monuments and murals.

Indianapolis-based engineering and consulting firm R.W. Armstrong has been selected as project manager for the beautification effort. On March 5, the city was to hold its first public meeting to solicit input from area residents and businesses about their priorities for improving the area.

OTB government map
The former retail hotbed anchored by Lafayette Square Mall has seen its share of vacant storefronts the last 20 years, but the area has benefited recently from an influx of international restaurants and other small businesses. The progress was noted in a story in The New York Times Feb. 23. Despite the resurgence, efforts to brand it as an international district have been slow.

The enhancement projects—seen by many as among the first major steps in that branding effort—will be funded in part by sales-tax collections captured in an area redevelopment district, which has about $2.25 million collected so far.

Ryan Hunt, a senior project manager for the city who is working on the plans, said the city could pursue additional funding once an outline for the initiative is more complete. Along with the murals and other landscape enhancements, residents also will weigh in on their priorities for other improvements, such as drainage and sidewalks.

City officials will hold additional public meetings and hope to have designs for the project complete by summer.


  • Small improvements
    Try to stop making this place a through highway for commuters. 38th is a death trap for pedestrians and cuts off any connectivity that the area might have. Statistically speaking, lower incomes and varied ethnicities have a reduced dependance on the auto, yet this area was developed solely for the car and continues to be focused on this.

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  1. So much for Eric Holder's conversation about race. If white people have got something to say, they get sued over it. Bottom line: white people have un-freer speech than others as a consequence of the misnamed "Civil rights laws."

  2. I agree, having seen three shows, that I was less than wowed. Disappointing!!

  3. Start drilling, start fracking, and start using our own energy. Other states have enriched their citizens and nearly elminated unemployment by using these resources that are on private land. If you are against the 'low prices' of discount stores, the best way to allow shoppers more choice is to empower them with better earnings. NOT through manipulated gov mandated min wage hikes, but better jobs and higher competitive pay. This would be direct result of using our own energy resources, yet Obama knows that Americans who arent dependent of gov welfare are much less likely to vote Dem, so he looks for ways to ensure America's decline and keep its citizens dependent of gov.

  4. Say It Loud, I'm Black and Ashamed: It's too bad that with certain "black" entertainment events, it seems violence and thuggery follows and the collateral damage that it leaves behinds continues to be a strain on the city in terms of people getting hurt, killed or becoming victims of crimes and/or stretching city resources. I remember shopping in the Meadows area years ago until violence and crime ended make most of the business pack you and leave as did with Lafayette Square and Washington Square. Over the past 10 to 12 years, I remember going to the Indiana Black Expo Soul Picnic in Washington Park. Violence, gang fights and homicides ended that. My great grandmother still bears the scares on her leg from when she was trampled by a group of thugs running from gun fire from a rival gang. With hundreds of police offices downtown still multiple shootings, people getting shot downtown during Black Expo. A number of people getting shots or murdered at black clubs around the city like Club Six on the west side, The Industry downtown, Jamal Tinsley's shot out in front of the Conrad, multiple fights and shootings at the skating rinks, shootings at Circle Center Mall and shooting and robberies and car jackings at Lafayette Mall. Shootings and gang violence and the State Fair. I can go on and on and on. Now Broad Ripple. (Shaking head side to side) Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Ashamed.

  5. Ballard Administration. Too funny. This is the least fiscally responsive administration I have ever seen. One thing this article failed to mention, is that the Hoosier State line delivers rail cars to the Amtrak Beech Grove maintenance facility for refurbishment. That's an economic development issue. And the jobs there are high-paying. That alone is worth the City's investment.