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Weaver's site sale could lead to Broad Ripple village-park connector

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A sliver of land along Broad Ripple Avenue that for decades has housed a family business could hold the key to a plan to link the village with a nearby park.

Weaver’s Lawn & Garden Shop has been peddling plants from 1316 Broad Ripple Ave. for more than 50 years. But with just one family member, Tom Weaver, involved in regular operations, the three children of the founders decided to sell the property as part of an exit plan.

Bryan Chandler, a local real estate broker and developer, bought the land in August for $160,000, city records show.

weavers nursery chandler broad ripple 15colWeaver's Lawn & Garden Shop now is operating on a seasonal basis at 1316 Broad Ripple Ave. (IBJ Photo/Scott Olson)

How long the nursery remains in business is unclear. Tom Weaver could not be reached for comment, and Chandler said the lease agreement he has with Weaver is “open-ended.”

It’s a seasonal arrangement,” he said. “I think they’ll stay as long as I’ll have them.”

Weaver’s is closed for the winter season and is scheduled to reopen in April.

But even before Chandler scooped up the property, community leaders had been eyeing it as a potential connector between the village and Broad Ripple Park, which sits just east of Weaver’s along the White River.

The village’s master plan, Envision Broad Ripple, targets the property for recreational use but without getting so specific as to suggest any ideas for it. Some sort of boardwalk along the river seems to be the most popular choice.

“The way that it could connect the village and the park, and amplify the natural resources and recreation, the quality of life implications are very grand,” said Brooke Klejnot, executive director of the Broad Ripple Village Association.

Prior to Chandler’s purchase, BRVA partnered with the Indianapolis Parks Foundation, the fundraising arm of Indy Parks, to attempt to buy the land. They were in the process of raising money from donors and were closing in on the asking price, unbeknownst to Chandler, when he bought it instead.

Neither Klejnot nor Lori Hazlett, director of the parks foundation, faults Chandler. In the meantime, they’ve began discussing the property’s future.

“We were almost there,” Hazlett said of their attempt to buy the land. “But Bryan didn’t know. He just wanted to grab that piece of land to save the green space.”

Said Klejnot: “We’re at the very, very beginning of understanding everyone’s goals. I don’t know what his plans are for it, but I do believe that there is the opportunity to collaborate and work together to realize the vision.”

Chandler, who said he has no immediate plans for the property, seems to be on board.

“Connecting the village to the park to Glendale would be wonderful,” he said. “It not only would link the Monon Trail but also the [Central Canal] towpath that goes downtown.”

Hazlett hopes to add the Weaver’s property to the city’s list of land but acknowledged challenges. The biggest obstacle is that the city hasn’t been buying any park land because it lacks the funds and resources to support the maintenance and upkeep.

“It’s still being talked about,” Hazlett said. “It’s just getting to that decision if [the city wants] to bring it into inventory.”
 

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  • Nope
    Nah. Wake Up was not part of the sale. Know that for sure. Seems there should be better uses than are there now, and not necessarily green space to attach to the park.
  • wake up
    I think the Wake Up property was part of the sale.
  • Other land in between
    What about the old Wake Up gas station and the land between that and the entrance to Br Rip Park? A lot of potential it seems.
  • This Raises the Possibility of Change
    And must therefore be vigorously opposed.
  • Broad Ripple Land Use?
    Here's an idea...perhaps we could erect ANOTHER eye-sore parking lot that no one wants, pay for it with taxpayer money, and - because of the narrowness of the lot - "stack" compact cars on end so as to get the most efficient use out of the available space. And - just to get the Indianapolis city apparatchiks to go along with it - we could slide another political donation under the mayor's door! That "mayoral" cash could go along with the money that's being diverted from much-needed road repairs to pay for unused bike lanes, a cricket field, and effective police protection. Whatcha' say, Indy?

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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