Indiana Black Expo purchases east-side building for new headquarters

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Indiana Black Expo Inc. announced Tuesday it has purchased the Crossroads Bible College building on the east side of Indianapolis and will move its headquarters from its longtime location on North Meridian Street later this year.

The not-for-profit known for its annual Summer Celebration bought the 43,000-square-foot building at 601 N. Shortridge Road for an undisclosed price. The 55-year-old building, near the intersection of East 10th Street and Shadeland Avenue, had been listed for sale for $1.4 million.

Crossroads Bible College, which has been at the location since 1997, is moving to the former offices of the defunct Art Institute of Indianapolis, in the Pyramids at College Park, 3500 Depauw Boulevard, on the north side of of the city. The group will have a long-term lease there.

Indiana Black Expo, which has been headquartered in 49,000 square feet at 3145 N Meridian St. for at least 30 years, plans to spend $4 million to renovate the Crossroads Bible College building in several phases. IBE's full-time staff of 10 will make the move to the new headquarter this year after the July 11-21 Summer Celebration.

IBE CEO Tanya Bell said moving to the east side will help the organization in its mission to serve underrepresented youth. The new headquarters is closer to where IBE has been providing wraparound services to teens in public housing complexes.

“It gives us an opportunity to provide some critical services for the students who need it,” Bell told IBJ.

The new location will be better suited for IBE's performing arts academy, which launched early this year and provides music production, acting, videography, photography and dance training to students aged 13-19. The program has about 100 students and plans to expand to serve 300 teens in its first year.

“We are excited to help train our youth in the arts, but the ultimate goal is to utilize the arts to enhance their academic and economic outcomes, and we will do so through the provision of academic supports,” Bell said.

Crossroads Bible College has 141 full-time students at its Indianapolis and Fort Wayne sites. On July 1, it will merge with the College of Biblical Studies in Houston.

“The merger with the College of Biblical Studies has been a godsend,” said Crossroads Bible College interim president Michael Gentry. “With the two universities merging, we’re able to offer students more choices, and now we’re nationally accredited.”

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