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INDIANAPOLIS – Long before the Indianapolis Colts came to town, Lucas Oil Stadium was built and I-70 ran through downtown from east to west, there was a neighborhood close to the south called Babe Denny where there was a park and businesses and a single-family homes.

The development and growth of the city center drove Babe Denny down, leaving a handful of homes and businesses and plenty of vacant lots and parking lots for football fans.

“It was kind of a self-contained community,” said Dennis Burton of Goldman Jewelry, who has lived in the neighborhood for 26 years. “You could work here. You could play here. You could live here and you really didn’t have to travel far to meet all of your needs.

That day may soon return as developer TWG has announced that it will soon begin construction of a $ 58 million apartment and retail complex in the 900 block of South Meridian Street.

There will be 269 units, ranging from 562 to 954 square feet with rents ranging from $ 1,200 to $ 2,100 per month.

Since the Tax Increment Financing bonds helped pay for the project, five percent of the units will be reserved for low-income tenants.

“I think it’s exciting. I think it will provide a much better view, ”Camas Brandt said as she cut a client’s hair inside Stranded Salon which will be across from the planned apartment building. “I think this will put our rough diamond in the spotlight again and I know housing is needed downtown.”

The near south side is one of the latest approaches to the city center to benefit from additional investment and tax benefits.

The designation of the area as a Lift Indy community, along with municipal support, makes the area more attractive to developers.

“It’s pretty crazy how empty and bare it is in here,” said Katie Harris, owner of Iozzo’s Garden of Italy. “This is the last part of the rejuvenation of the city center

“I think it gives people a little bit of hope that, ‘Hey, this is finally happening.'”

George Stergiopoulos opened the Greek Islands in 1987.

“It’s the main artery to connect to downtown Indianapolis,” he said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of new storefronts, a lot more apartments, condominiums, that sort of thing, and more businesses too.”

Two new hotels recently opened one block north of the neighborhood and another is slated for parking across Meridian Street from Shapirio’s Delicatessen.

“It’s certainly not a mass avenue or a fountain plaza yet, but it has gradually improved over the years for sure,” said Burton. “Once a big development usually happens, you get other developers to look at other properties and say, ‘Okay, I can see a vision for that here. “”

TWG plans to start renting apartments in the complex in winter 2023.

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