Upgrades planned at Mass Ave’s Davlan Park

Riley Area Development Corp. is planning significant upgrades to Davlan Park, a well-used—and well-worn—pocket park along Massachusetts Avenue.

Riley is the majority owner of the 10,000-square-foot park, which occupies the point where Massachusetts Avenue intersects with Vermont and Alabama streets. Riley is also the majority owner of the adjacent Davlan Building, which houses both residential and commercial tenants, including Bru Burger restaurant and a Starbucks coffee shop.

“This park has now been there for about 20 years, and it’s time for a refresh,” said Riley board member Meg Storrow. Storrow is a principal at the Indianapolis landscape architecture firm Storrow Kinsella Associates, which is the project’s designer.

This rendering shows planned upgrades to Davlan Park.

The goal, Storrow said, is to secure bids over the winter and begin construction in the spring, with project completion in Summer 2021.

The project, estimated to cost about $100,000, will include multiple components: two decks providing additional outdoor seating for Bru Burger and Starbucks; new landscaping, including replacement of three trees; a busker station where live musicians can perform; additional park seating; and a space for bicycle and scooter parking.

The project will also remove worn-out turf and replace it with a permeable paving material.

Brickhead 3, a sculpture and Mass Ave landmark, will remain in place in the park.

Following the updates, the park will be renamed Davlan Point.

A separate part of the Davlan Park project involves new signage for the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, which runs adjacent to the park along Alabama Street.

For that part of the project, Storrow said, the Cultural Trail and the Central Indiana Community Foundation plan to install interpretive trail signage at the park, and relocate a trail donor recognition sign created by Vito Acconci. That sign currently hangs along another section of the Cultural Trail, in the tunnel that passes through the Virginia Avenue parking garage.

The estimated cost of relocating and reinstalling the Cultural Trail signage will cost another $75,000 Storrow said, and the timing of that part of the project depends on how quickly the Cultural Trail can raise the money for that effort.

Also this week, we have news about a couple of departures at City Market, 222 E. Market St.

— The crepe shop 3 Days in Paris closed its booth in mid-November after a nine-year run at the market.

“Due to reduced traffic caused in large part by the pandemic it is not financially feasible for us to continue operations at this time,” the business announced on its Facebook page Nov. 16. The business said it is working to continue operations in some fashion, though it hasn’t yet announced details.

“STAY TUNED—Hopefully after the beginning of 2021 we will be offering the 3 Days in Paris crepes in a new location. GO AWAY COVID!” the business posted on Nov. 21.

— And The Tamale Place says it plans to depart later this month—Dec. 23 will be its last day at its City Market. Its west-side store, at 5226 Rockville Road, will remain open.

Owned by the husband-and-wife team of Angela Green and Vladimir Ronces along with Green’s mother, Leora Green, The Tamale Place opened its first store in 2003. In 2014 it opened at City Market and at 1155 E. Stop 11 Road. That store closed earlier this year.

Finally, reopening updates on two downtown restaurants that are currently closed:

— The sports bar and restaurant Champps, in Circle Centre Mall at 49 W. Maryland St., expects to reopen some time after the holidays. Matt Stelletell, the district manager who oversees the restaurant, said the company hasn’t set a firm date yet but plans to reopen “as more opens up around us.”

— At Greeks Pizzeria, 130 N. Delaware St., franchisee Josh Trisler said he’s considering ideas for how to reopen. “We are working on figuring out a way to stay there at some capacity,” Trisler told IBJ in an email. “Perhaps a food truck commodity or just lunch pickup/delivery location. Downtown is still struggling without its industry leaders back at work.” The store opened in late 2018.

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9 thoughts on “Upgrades planned at Mass Ave’s Davlan Park

  1. Glad to see Davlan Park (soon to be Davlan Point) isn’t getting turned into an apartment building or condos as I initially worried when I saw it was fenced off with signs up seekin Public Comments.

  2. Sounds like the “park” redo is more about adding seating for their retail tenants, than anything to do with a park. I’m also unsure how that translates into a $75k bill for signage that the private owner is passing off to the public

    1. You should read more carefully. The Cultural Trail is run by a nonprofit and that organization is raising the cost of relocating the signage. (The “park” largely functions now as an outdoor waiting space for Bru and overflow seating for Starbucks. And since it’s privately owned, they can do as they wish.)

    2. Chris I 100 agree it is privately owned and they can do what they want. I would also add seating for my retail restaurants. That is why I am laughing at the term “park”. There must be some public $ involved. I have no clue why the culture trail is even part of this story. Spending $75k to relocate a sign for no apparent reason is a perfect example of how non-profits spend other people’s money.

    3. Chuck, I am not getting what you’re gripe is about? Except, I guess you want to play the tired role of the “get off my lawn” old man. The park is owned by the neighborhood development corporation, Riley Area Development Corporation, which also developed and owns the apartment building and commercial space. The development corporation wants to make something nicer for both residents and people who come to spend money at the businesses in their neighborhood. They control the property, they could cover it in gravel, plant a rose garden, or plop down an inflatable pool–it is their property to do as they wish. It falls under “none of your business,” just as I am sure you don’t want either your neighbors or complete strangers telling you what to do with your own property, so long as you’re abiding by the applicable zoning/permitting rules.

      As for the Cultural Trail being a non-profit using money, they are just like for-profit businesses that use “other people’s money” because people choose to give them money. And, the signage has to be moved because construction is being done. Anyway, if it bothers you, don’t donate to the Cultural Trail, but I am guessing you already do not–so problem solved. Now, thank me for saving you time you can reallocate to go whine about something else.

  3. That trail-donor recognition sign is a slab of metal with names in type. It is not art; it is advertising, visually akin to the back of a marathon T-shirt. Please don’t put something that ugly in such a prominent spot on Massachusetts Avenue. Bleh. It should be sold for scrap.

  4. The inclusion of the Cultural Trail signage is really unfortunate, but here on Mass Ave its all about whatever RADC-a CDC that has worn out its welcome here really-and its board members-want, not what the actual stakeholders on Mass Ave want. The Storrow Kinsella connection to RADC doesn’t really pass the smell test-in the old days we called this a conflict of interest, but nowadays its business as usual in this town. I would be shocked that the IHPC approved this hideous obviously commercial signage, but nothing surprises me anymore.

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