Chase donates former branch, $500,000 to community organizations

JPMorgan Chase & Co. has donated a former bank branch at 3000 E. New York St. to one community organization, plus a total of $500,000 to two others, the bank announced Tuesday morning.

Chase donated the former branch to the Englewood Community Development Corp. The property, located east of Rural Street on the east side, will soon open as a co-working space called Vault.

The neighborhood-redevelopment organization Local Initiatives Support Corp. Indianapolis received $300,000 to invest the five Great Places 2020 neighborhoods: Englewood Village, King Commons, Maple Crossing, River West and Twin Aire. Each of the neighborhoods received a grant to help small businesses move into new spaces in key commercial corridors.

Great Places 2020 aims to mix private-sector investments with federal tax money to spark residential and commercial activity in the targeted neighborhoods.

A $200,000 donation from Chase to IUPUI will expand services offered by Source River West Entrepreneurship Center at 2230 W. Michigan St.

Source operates in partnership with IUPUI and the Indy Chamber’s business ownership initiative. It has provided 2,300 hours of coaching, workshops and business education to 850 entrepreneurs or those hoping to become one.

“JPMorgan Chase is committed to helping everyone share in the rewards of a growing economy. While many areas are doing well across Indianapolis, we know that opportunity is not shared equally,”  JPMorgan Chase Indiana Chairman Al Smith said in a prepared statement.

“We’re proud to not only partner with these local organizations, but to activate a former bank branch as a new economic asset in the neighborhood.”

Chase closed the East New York Street branch in December 2016, and the building has been vacant since.

Englewood CDC evaluated about a dozen possible uses for the 6,400-square-foot building before deciding on Matt and Desma Belsaas’ idea to turn it into a co-working space.

“Theirs was far and away our favorite,” Edgewood CDC Executive Director Joe Bowling said. “It does seem like just a good solid use for that location.”

After Chase donated the building to Englewood CDC, the organization sold it to the Belsaases for $1 in June. The husband-and-wife team are working to finish renovations on the space.

Bowling said the Englewood CDC retained ownership of an adjacent, half-acre parking lot to the west.

The organization might build a mixed-use development on the site within the next four years, Bowling said.

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