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Restoring and revitalizing old buildings on Indy's northside

One way to uplift a community
Posted at 12:21 AM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 00:21:35-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Restoring and revitalizing old buildings is one way to uplift a community. Work is underway near East 16th Street and the Monon Trail on a building that has been around since the 1800s. TWG Development Inc. bought the former IPS site in 2019 with a goal of making 188 affordable apartments.

Those who live and work in that area, which is near the Old Northside, are hopeful about the project. "It's helping lift up the whole north side of the downtown area, one building at a time," Garry Elder, Old Northside Foundation Board President, said. "It's important to have the buildings restored, so they're put back to good use, put back on the tax rolls in lots of situations. It just helps brighten up the whole neighborhood and encourages more people to move into the area."

Elder tells WRTV he would like to see a mixed-use type of building whenever the project is finished, but isn't picky. "I'm almost in favor of anything for that building."

Gary Hofmeister, who runs the Old Northside Bed Breakfast, believes it's encouraging that developers are working on the Polk Stable Building because of its potential. Hofmeister did something similar when he bought an old home in the 1990's, turning it into a B & B.

"You got to kind of watch the way things are moving and the building and the area that it's in, that's definitely coming back," Hofmeister said. "I just love to see it done. I love old things. I love things that have a lot of possibilities in it.

For a building that's in bad shape, possibilities are winding down to save the historic structure. "It's great that somebody has expressed interest to save the building because I truly believe that if it's not restored soon, it's probably going to get past the point where it can't be saved," Elder said.

We reached out to the TWG Polk Group to ask about a timeline on when the work could be finished, but we didn't get answer on that. However, they are offering leasing opportunities on commercial space, encouraging interested investors or prospective clients to contact them.